Facebook’s Social Graph: Implications for the Travel Industry

by KathyDragon on May 2, 2010

Facebook’s new “like” buttons are appearing all over the web. It’s beyond Social, this is game changing.

Facebook Like Button

Possibly between the Iceland’s Volcano and the Kentucky Derby you missed the significance. Here’s a quick summary on why this is a really, really big deal.

According to Facebook “Share ” buttons are being replaced with “Like” buttons (we’ve already added them to all of TravelDragon‘s 6000+ trips). “Facebook Connect” is going away (being replaced by the Facebook Platform). Activity feeds for other users and recommendation engines are part of the new toolkit. 50,000 websites have added the Like button and/or other social plugins since they first launched last week.

For the Travel Industry and all businesses this makes it much easier for potential consumers to share what they like on your site with friends, in real time.  The consumers no longer needs to move between content and facebook and are likely unaware of how this information is being tracked. WOW. Think about people cruising around on your site, seeing cool tours, reading reviews  from past guests, checking out your latest travel video. “like” “like” “like”! What the consumer might not know is that you’ll now have access to publish directly on their newsfeeds in the future.  Take for example a reader who “likes” your new  tour Gastronomic Catalonia and you can’t wait to start sharing all your Adventure/Culinary and Wine travel opportunities with them.

If “Like”= Approval Rating think about it, TripAdvisor might have some competition.  It’s about time.

How cool, you can now  find out what your friends like without needing to visit facebook.
But wait.  Are your “friends” really your friends?

“Facebook is building the Social Graph, a vast network of connections between people and the things they like”. What does it all mean to the end user? There are a lot of people very concerned  privacy issues are only part of that concern. “Instant Personalization” service are undeniably good for business owners and advertisers but for us as consumers? You’ll be telling the world the things you like, even when you’re not on Facebook.

I’d love your feedback from a consumer as well as a travel industry professional.

Kathy Dragon – Traveler, Chief Curator
TravelDragon & The Dragon’s Path
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Tweets that mention Facebook Social Graph: Travel folks, “Like” is going to change everything -- Topsy.com
May 2, 2010 at 8:53 pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy, Dream of Italy Travel Newsletter May 2, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I have initially changed my Facebook settings to not share my information on sites besides Facebook – I just wanted time to explore and see what all the implications would be… However as a business owner (http://www.dreamofitaly.com) I could see how having others use these options could help biz so I’ll likely start using it in full. Facebook has truly been a game changer. I love, love Twitter but think my Facebook Fan page is probably more valuable. Think about how many people access their Facebook feeds multiple times a day. Love it that Dream of Italy is bringing them great content in the midst of updates from their friends.

Andy Hayes | Travel Online Partners May 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm

It’s quite interesting – this is exactly what Twitter announced at SXSW (their product called ‘anywhere’).

As I mentioned in my most recent blog post, I’ve actually advised a cautious approach on this one. Some of the social widgets, like replacing comments sections like these with Facebook ones, are nonsense. The like button has its place, but I wish you had more control over the format. And it goes without saying, work on your Fan Page first! (Oh wait, excuse me, your “Like Page” or whatever we call them now.)

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