Trip Advisor Comes Out of Left Field to Take Over Facebook App Scene

You’ve probably all heard of TripAdvisor, if not used it for your own travel planning purposes. But did you know that it is now a hot commodity on Facebook? Or that it has grown at break-neck speed, adding 12.5 million users in the past month? We found some startling stats from Read Write Web and shared a portion of their findings below — you can read the whole story on readwriteweb.com by following this link. Of course, factors such as advertising budget and uptick in travel interest over summer months must be taken into account — but even so, these numbers are quite high. It’s amazing what social media can accomplish in such a short time. Are you using TripAdvisor on Facebook?

Over June, the Facebook app of travel reviews site TripAdvisor has increased its Monthly Active Users (MAU) by over 67 percent. It now has 31 million MAU, moving it up to fourth on AppData’s Facebook Apps Leaderboard – just above the ever-popular MyCalendar birthday app and Zynga’s top ‘Ville game CityVille. What makes it even more intriguing is that in May, according to InsideFacebook (a sister site of AppData), TripAdvisor experienced “a steady decline.” So how has TripAdvisor not only stopped a decline, but added 12.5 million users in the space of a month?

The growth has been particularly rapid this past week. According to AppData, TripAdvisor’s Facebook app was the top gainer across Facebook last week with 6.2 million new MAU. That’s a 25% gain in just one week.

TripAdvisor is one of my favorite travel websites. I use it to choose hotels, before I travel. That’s because it has a vast database of user-generated hotel reviews and its ranking system is slick and dependable. Also, unlike Orbitz, TripAdvisor doesn’t penalize me for using a Mac.
TripAdvisor released its first Facebook app back in June 2007, called “Cities I’ve Visited.” This is the very same app that now attracts 31 million monthly active users, although now it’s simply called TripAdvisor (a separate app called Cities I’ve Visited still shows up in Facebook’s search, but it re-directs to the TripAdvisor app). TripAdvisor integrates onto your Facebook Timeline and automatically shares your activity.

Is the user growth related to TripAdvisor’s “Instant Personalization” feature, which it introduced in 2010 as an official partner of Facebook? Instant Personalization means that TripAdvisor uses Facebook data that you’ve made public – such as your name, profile picture, gender and networks – to serve you a personalized experience. The key is it doesn’t require your permission to do this. Even if you don’t have a TripAdvisor account, if you are logged into Facebook then you will see reviews from your friends and other “personalized” information on TripAdvisor.com. There are seven other companies in the Instant Personalization program, including local reviews site Yelp and Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

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About MARKIT Group

MARKIT Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing and public relations firm with an emphasis on social media, reputation management and monitoring, as well as brand management. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Fla., with offices in New York, Pittsburgh and Charleston, S.C. www.markit-group.com.
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