Today, Gogobot, my favorite travel network, announced its foray into the land of “check-ins.” Gogobot is integrating with Facebook Places and Foursquare to create a digital log of you and your friends’ favorite places, so now when planning your next trip, you can see both your friends’ Gogobot reviews and tips on restaurants, hotels, activities and the places they go to the most from all their check-ins.
I first reported on Gogobot in early March, writing that its modern social platform for travelers makes Google search and TripAdvisor look like outdated folding car maps. On Gogobot, users can search for travel recommendations from their friends via Twitter and Facebook and look at the top recommendations (e.g. London restaurants) from the entire Gogobot community. You can also post questions within the Gogobot community, to people you “follow” and out to friends on your social networks.
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In late March, Gogobot partnered with Expedia and Kayak to create an even more epic travel network. With the new integrations, Gogobot users can search for the best rates across five of the largest booking sites on the Internet and book rooms from more than 130,000 hotels worldwide. The new integrations are a part of CEO Travis Katz’s monetization strategy as well. While he plans to keep the site aesthetically clean and ad-free, he will monetize from lead generations for vacation rentals, hotels, flights/etc. instead, which is a very lucrative model considering TripAdvisor made $380 million this way last year.
Their new location-based endeavor puts them miles ahead of the competition from other travel recommendation engines. See this shot below of the “recently added tab” where a user can view and rate all of their recently imported places.
“Location based services made it infinitely easier for millions of people to capture and share their favorite places with friends in real time. With this integration, Gogobot now gives the game of “checking-in” with Facebook or Foursquare both meaning and context, transforming check-ins into a visually stunning record of all the places you have been,” said Travis Katz, Gogobot co-founder and CEO. “Millions of people love to check-in and share great restaurants, shops, bars, and now by creating a virtual scrapbook of your favorite places, Gogobot makes the process of discovering and sharing travel advice much easier and more fun.”
The Gogobot passport, which is where the check-ins are imported to:
This is a shot of the Las Vegas Hotels page – here Gogobot shows users the most popular places to go based on places their friends have reviewed, marked “Been There” on Gogobot, or checked in via Facebook or Foursquare.
Gogobot’s new integration lets users import their check-ins automatically into their Gogobot Passport, allowing for effortless “travel scrapbooking.” Users can then augment these check-ins on the site by adding star-ratings, reviews and personal photos. To connect your account go to Settings, and you will see an “Add Foursquare” tab in addition the pre-existing Facebook and Twitter tabs.
In just over three months since its public launch, Gogobot users have shared more than 350,000 places with their network. I expect this number to rise exponentially with this new easy check-in feature. Happy Travels!