TripAdvisor has revealed plans to evolve into the ‘Facebook for travel’ with a new socially-powered website due to be rolled out later this year.
The world’s biggest travel review website has started testing a beta version of its new site and mobile experience with 500 launch partners.
TripAdvisor says the aim is for the site to ‘become the most personalised and connected travel community’ by linking travellers with trusted experts, influencers and brands.
A ‘travel feed’ will be at the heart of the new user experience which TripAdvisor said will enable them to discover more relevant information when planning their trips.
The feed will personalise the user experience by adapting the homepage they land on to their preferences and hone in on relevant content as they search for information and advice.
Stephen Kaufer, chief executive and co-founder of TripAdvisor, said: “TripAdvisor is poised to disrupt the travel industry once again as we create a more personalised and connected community.
“The new TripAdvisor is the one travel site that brings together social-assistive tools, amazing content and our existing booking capabilities to merge the joy of planning and discovery together into a single experience.
“We are assisting our members at each step of their journey as we become a more personalised, inspirational and useful TripAdvisor.”
TripAdvisor said the evolution of its site will see it expand its community beyond travellers to also include brands, social media influencers, publishers and friends.
Travellers can follow and connect with individuals or content creators who share information that is relevant to their interests.
Building on the site’s existing 661 million reviews and opinions, TripAdvisor users will be able to create and view inspirational and helpful new forms of content including photos, videos and articles.
They will also have the ability to create “Trips,” either in-depth travel guides, itineraries or wish lists.
Trips can be made private and saved for personal use or shared with the community to inspire and help others.
More than 500 social media influencers, well-known consumer brands, publishers and travel partners have joined the new TripAdvisor during the beta phase.
Brands involved include National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel Channel, Business Insider & Insider Guides, PopSugar, Great Big Story (CNN Travel), Pandora Music, GoPro, Goop, NYC & Company (via nycgo.com), Nashville Music City, and The Knot.
Users will also be able to follow leading social media influencers like television personality and restaurateur Giada De Laurentiis, as well as the Saccone Jolys and A Luxury Travel Blog.
In-house TripAdvisor experts fromt Smarter Travel, Cruise Critic and TheFork.com, will also be offering their expertise through unique profiles.
Chris Thorman, vice president community products and growth at National Geographic, said:
“National Geographic wants to reach our customers wherever it is they are consuming content. We want to be available on all platforms allowing people to engage with our brand and content wherever and whenever they choose.
“We’re excited to be among the first publishers to join the new TripAdvisor, further expanding our travel footprint.
“As a global media company, we’re always seeking new opportunities to share our awe-inspiring articles, photos and video content, and a partnership with TripAdvisor allows us to do just that.”