- TripAdvisor plans to debut a new mobile experience later this year after previewing the updated app and website yesterday that emphasizes social connections and travel experiences. TripAdvisor is expanding its community beyond travelers who provide reviews of their experiences to include brands, social media influencers, publishers and friends, per a statement.
- Condé Nast Traveler, Travel Channel, National Geographic, Pandora Music, PopSugar and The Knot are among the brands that TripAdvisor's users can follow. In addition, its members also can get insights from social media influencers like TV personality and restaurateur Giada De Laurentiis and travel bloggers like TravelBabbo.
- The redesign lets TripAdvisor members create "Trips" that can consist of user-generated content (UGC) such as in-depth travel guides, itineraries or wish lists of things to do while traveling. Trips can be made private and saved for personal use or shared with the TripAdvisor community.
By adding more content from media brands and social influencers, TripAdvisor can make its website and app more engaging for users who might turn to social media to find travel information. More than 661 million reviews covering about 7.7 million travel-related businesses have been logged on TripAdvisor, but recently the company has seen social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest reach younger adults by providing a more personalized way to share travel experiences with friends and followers. "Travel bragging" is common among millennials and Gen Z, who are heavier users of social media, with 60% of 18- to 29-year-olds saying they uploaded pictures, checked in at cool locations (39%) and tracked the amount of interaction on their posts (32%) for bragging purposes while on vacation, per a study by rival travel site Hotels.com.
TripAdvisor's redesign seems to follow the social travel trend by including hallmark features of social media platforms — notably, a news feed that helps personalize information. Its "travel feed" aims to give members more relevant information faster when planning trips. According to the company's press release, when users search for a destination, the feed automatically narrows the information to the geographic location, including articles from a food critic, an influencer's travel guide or a friend's review.
TripAdvisor already has an in-house team of destination experts and brands, including Smarter Travel, Cruise Critic and TheFork.com, that will contribute more content through unique profiles, the company noted in its statement. Partnering with brands, publishers and social influencers that its users already use and trust could help personalize TripAdvisor's app experience at a time when marketing personalization is getting worse.
TripAdvisor cited data from two studies that show its influence on travel planning, booking and the post-trip experience. The TripAdvisor platform influences $546 billion (10.3%) of global tourism spending a year as consumers seek recommendations and reviews during their decision-making, according to a 2017 study by Oxford Economics. Researcher comScore found in a study this year that 60% of people booking travel online used TripAdvisor during the travel planning and booking process, while 74% of travelers used TripAdvisor when booking on hotel websites, per its statement.