In a world of travel apps, it takes something kinda special to stand out from the crowd. With Google expanding into the travel space, Hipmunk making it easier to find flights and the giants such as Orbitz, Priceline and the like, it’s getting harder to find real, customized recommendations.
Kukunu, a socially-savvy travel application that we’ve talked about before, is hoping to gather some steam by integrating suggestions from your Facebook friends to your travel plans. With the idea that the best way to find the right hotel is to ask people that you know and trust, Kukunu is introducing Hotel Me.
Hotel Me is a Facebook application, presently in a limited beta, that essentially creates a poll of your Facebook friends. All you do is enter the area where you’re traveling, the dates you’ll be staying, then add a customized message. The results? The look something like this:
The idea behind Hotel Me isn’t to take away from Kukunu. Rather, for shorter, faster trips, Hotel Me is an ideal choice over the more in-depth version available from Kukunu. The results are great, as long as your Facebook friends decide to click the blue button.
This is the one area where Hotel Me doesn’t work quite as well — it’s asking users to change how they behave. Typically speaking, if you ask a question on Facebook, what you’ll get are responses via comments. This is exactly what I found. Only 1 of my friends who responded clicked the button. The rest? Well…
So the system isn’t perfect, but it does work when people follow it as it’s supposed to be used. Perhaps if I had added instructions to click the blue button instead, that might have helped. Regardless, it’s just hard to change user behavior, and people are inherently suspicious of Facebook apps, lately.
For now, it’s still a handy option to have at your disposal, and Kukunu is doing other interesting things that we’ll talk to you about in the future. So give Hotel Me a shot and let us know what you think.