Want to follow your friends, family, and favorite travel experts’ vacation planning, just like you follow them on Instagram? TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company) is making it possible later this year by adding to the platform a social network where users can go beyond posting reviews, to share travel tips and itineraries with their followers.
Billed as the world’s first “travel feed,” the new TripAdvisor website and app will launch in the coming months. Individual travelers will no longer be the only accounts on the review platform: Travel publications and brands like National Geographic and GoPro, plus celebrity experts like Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, have joined the new platform, which is now in beta and not yet public. SmarterTravel will also be on the TripAdvisor social network sharing articles, videos, photos, and more.
The 661 million existing TripAdvisor reviews of hotels, restaurants, and attractions will remain on the site, and users will now have the added option to sling ideas and opinions in a social media-style feed. That way you can focus on insight from the trusty brands and travelers you choose to follow, instead of random strangers.
All users will be able to create “trips,” which can be private or visible to followers, to organize itineraries or keep track of ideas for future trips. Think of it as a Facebook feed for travel planning and inspiration, with (hopefully) fewer political opinions and baby photos posted by your long-lost high school classmates.
Searching a travel destination on the new TripAdvisor will populate “a personalized feed of information,” TripAdvisor said in a statement. “For example, members planning a trip to Paris may see a food critic’s article on the best restaurant in the city, an influencer’s travel guide of ‘must-dos,’ and a friend’s review of a new hotel near the Eiffel Tower.”
No more sifting through the opinions or reviews of people you don’t trust or pestering friends for travel help: Following them all on a travel-first social stream could be the first step toward better vacations.
Will you try out the new TripAdvisor social network when it’s released? Comment below.