It’s no secret that TripAdvisor sees Facebook as a major platform partner, having established a series of hook-ups with the preeminent social network in the past few years. And today it further cemented this relationship with the launch of its new Local Picks Facebook app.
Its Local Picks app was actually launched a number of years back, but was put into hiatus some time in 2010 for reasons not entirely known. Now, however, it has been rolled out again to tap the Facebook social graph and let users garner dining recommendations from locals and friends.
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Just to recap the TripAdvisor and Facebook story so far, you may remember that the travel site launched Instant Personalization in partnership with the social networking giant back in December 2010. It arrived in the US first, followed by the UK several months later. If you visit TripAdvisor’s website while logged into Facebook on your computer, the site will act like your personalized travel planner, complete with friends’ reviews, a map showing places friends have visited, and a list of their most popular destinations.
However, the TripAdvisor/Facebook partnership predates Instant Personalization, and at first it started building apps on their platform, such as Cities I Visited. It then rolled out Facebook Connect integration and, in January this year, TripAdvisor launched its part of what Facebook announced at F8 last year, which was open graph and custom actions.
Local Picks app
Each restaurant has a detailed profile that includes a score from 1 to 5 on the Local Picks Index, a rating system that aims to bring local favourites and “hidden gem” eateries to the front, as deemed by “real locals” who know the area best.
The app covers more than 850,000 restaurants globally, and draws from diner reviews collected from TripAdvisor, with contributions from locals and friends highlighted.
Local Picks lets users express opinions and get restaurant advice from people they know. The app is integrated with Facebook’s timeline so diners can share ratings, favourites, and themed lists with friends. It also displays information such as the address, area, type of cuisine, phone number, website address, hours of operation, menus, and photos.
The ‘Foodies’ newsfeed keeps users informed of their Facebook friends’ recommendations and real-time activity; where they’ve checked in, and what restaurants they’ve recently rated. Diners can also follow other foodies outside of their immediate Facebook network (well-known chefs, for example), which can serve as a regular source of dining inspiration.
Local Picks Index
The Local Picks Index ranks top restaurants worldwide with an emphasis on the reviews and opinions of locals. Users can browse the ‘Top Picks’ tab to see a list of restaurants that have ranked high on the Local Picks Index.
Favourites and Wish Lists
By clicking ‘want’ or ‘fave,’ or adding to a custom list, Local Picks users can keep track of restaurants they want to try and those they love.
Local Picks is now available in English, but will be launched in multiple languages later this summer.