TripAdvisor aims to become social media service for travel

TripAdvisor is planning a major upgrade to its website and mobile experience that will put a focus on planning and booking with social media-style influences.

The site and mobile upgrade are still in development, and TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer said it would launch by the end of the year.

The look to the new site mirrors other familiar social sites. A “travel feed,” which TripAdvisor said was the first of its kind, will serve up relevant geographical information based on the destination searched. For example, TripAdvisor said, someone planning a trip to Paris might see in their feed “a food critic’s article on the best restaurant in the city, an influencer’s travel guide of must-dos, and a friend’s review of a new hotel near the Eiffel Tower.”

The feed enables users to save posts to a Trip file, which then can be used as a planning guide before and during a trip. The trip can be private or shared to inspire other travelers.

Travelers can follow and connect with friends, brands, influencers and publishers. TripAdvisor said it has signed on more than 500 social media influencers, brands, content creators and partners. Users will be able to follow brands like Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic and the Travel Channel, and bloggers like The Points Guy.