TripAdvisor goes deeper into social with relaunch as a travel ‘hub’

TripAdvisor is moving further into social travel as it unveils a revamp of its website that will enable users to follow friends and brands, offer a personalised news feed and let users plan their trips.

TripAdvisor is relaunching its website as a personalised travel hub that will allow users to save recommendations, follow friends and influencers and create their own “inspiring” content.

Speaking on a press call today (17 September), CEO and co-founder Stephen Kaufer said the website is “going from the world’s largest travel site to the most personalised and connected travel community ever.”

The revised platform appears to work like a social network, with users given their own profile and feed where they can post updates, share photos and follow friends and brands.

The move follows research conducted by TripAdvisor into the most important elements to people when planning a trip. It found that although 66% of people said they read reviews, 62% said recommendations from friends and family were more important, while 36% watch videos, 47% read articles and 45% look at photos.

READ MORE: TripAdvisor’s CMO on its transformation into a booking site

The results led Kaufer to the realisation that TripAdvisor needed to incorporate some of the elements that were lacking in order to offer a website that was more personalised.

He said: “We didn’t want a one-size-fits all for travellers I want what’s unique for my trip, which  is going to be very different to yours.”

The new website will feature a ‘travel feed’ where users will see curated content from the people they follow, both in real time but also that is relevant to their searches. For example, if a user was planning a trip to Rome they would find a friend’s review of a hotel in the capital from 2015.

There are also hopes TripAdvisor will be used more for forward planning, with a new ‘trips’ feature that allows users to save recommendations to a list. This can be either public or private and can be shared with other to help plan their own trip both.

There is also a map function that allows users to see nearby saved recommendations while travelling and sends notification if the user is close to a location that someone they follow on the site has reviewed.

Currently in beta mode, the website already has 500 brands and influencers on the platform, including National Geographic. It will launch globally later this year.