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TripAdvisor Is About to Look Very Different. Here’s Why.

By Michelle Baran

Sep 18, 2018

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TripAdvisor is beta testing a new website and app that will be social media–driven.

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is beta testing a new website and app that will be social media–driven.

Users will be able to create Facebook-like feeds and share travel photos, articles, tips, and information.

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By the end of this year, TripAdvisor is going to look a lot more like a travel-themed Facebook or Twitter feed than a travel review and booking site. The brand announced Monday that it is beta testing a new site and mobile experience that will allow users to share travel articles and photos, follow their desired travel influencers, and create crowd-sourced itineraries.

Once the new site and mobile app go live, the homepage will be members’ personalized feeds. Travelers will be able to create curated profiles that will allow them to share travel-related content with friends and followers, including not just reviews, but also photos, videos, and articles related to travel and destinations.

And it won’t only be travelers sharing their opinions and recommendations. TripAdvisor has partnered with more than 500 social media influencers, consumer brands, media companies, and travel partners to develop content and profiles for the new site. Some of the brands that have already been brought onboard include National Geographic, the Travel Channel, Business Insider, PopSugar, Great Big Story, GoPro, and The Knot. Well-known personalities and social media influencers, including Giada De Laurentiis and travel bloggers Travel Babbo and The Points Guy, are also developing profiles for the new site.

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There will also be the option to create “trips,” a feature that will allow users to develop their own personalized travel guides, which can include everything from detailed itineraries to simple wish lists of things to do while traveling. Trips can be organized into highly specific themes (such as “ramen in New York City”) or broader topics like “Bali with kids,” and they can be made private or shared.

Users can save information and tips to various trip lists.

Additionally, users will also be able to search a particular destination, which will automatically filter their feed to display only information relevant to that place. Ultimately, the idea is to give users a variety of tools that they can access throughout the entire travel planning process, including advice and inspiration that they gather from their feeds.

The company’s executives are positioning this “new TripAdvisor” as a travel site that will be bringing together social media tools, travel content, and booking capabilities.

There is already a vast amount of content on TripAdvisor, which houses more than 661 million reviews of some 7.7 million accommodations, airlines, travel experiences, and restaurants. According to a 2017 Oxford Economics Study, TripAdvisor influences 10.3 percent (or $546 billion) of global tourism spend annually. And a 2018 study commissioned by TripAdvisor and carried out by comScore found that 60 percent of people booking travel online use TripAdvisor during travel planning and booking, and 74 percent of travelers use TripAdvisor when booking hotels online.

TripAdvisor did not provide an exact date for the launch of its new site and app.

Correction: An earlier version of this post said that CNN Travel was among the media brands TripAdvisor has brought onboard to create profiles for the new site. CNN Travel has not been brought onboard.

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