TripAdvisor hooks up with Facebook for ‘Trip Friends’ feature

If you’ve had occasion to use TripAdvisor to plan a trip, you’re familiar with its treasure trove of honest, applicable information about destinations, hotels, restaurants and the like.

The community on TripAdvisor is good at generating useful, cogent and well-written stuff to assist you in planning your travels. But it’s kind of one of those things that’s in its own closed off corner of the web- if you’re trying to plan a trip with, say, your mom, you might not be able to get her to check TripAdvisor first because getting your mom to do internet stuff like that is hard. But today, TripAdvisor is friending Facebook for a new feature called “Trip Friends,” which might result in group trip planning using crowdsourced info becoming a bit more commonplace.

I haven’t gotten a chance to test the feature for long, but logging in and connecting to Facebook was pretty easy with the ubiquitous “Facebook connect” button. TripAdvisor even remembered me from my infrequently used account on the site and connected my separate accounts on each service- so it’s not like you’ll lose the reviews you’ve written if you use the same email for both. USAToday explains how the interlinking will work:

Starting today, TripAdvisor members who log onto the site using Facebook Connect and research hotels, destinations, attractions or restaurants can also see and message a list of their Facebook friends who’ve visited or lived in that location. The information comes from publicly available Facebook profiles and from TripAdvisor’s “Cities I’ve Visited” application on Facebook, a pushpin map that’s one of the social media site’s most popular travel applications with 16 million downloads and 5.5 million active monthly users.

Trip Friends will likely be hugely beneficial for TripAdvisor, not only because of increased traffic. If the app takes off, the site will also benefit from a less anonymous base of reviews. While you’re likely to take advice from someone you know personally (or know not to take it, either way you’re better equipped to judge), with the Facebook connection, there’s more transparency as to who is writing the reviews.

Do you plan on using the new Facebook Connect/TripAdvisor interlink, or are you worried about all your friends seeing your glowing review for that STD clinic in Cancun?