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Revamped TripAdvisor Will Become a Social Network for Travel Planning

Want to follow your friends, family, and favorite travel experts’ vacation planning, just like you follow them on Instagram? TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company) is making it possible later this year by adding to the platform a social network where users can go beyond posting reviews, to share travel tips and itineraries with their followers.

Billed as the world’s first “travel feed,” the new TripAdvisor website and app will launch in the coming months. Individual travelers will no longer be the only accounts on the review platform: Travel publications and brands like National Geographic and GoPro, plus celebrity experts like Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, have joined the new platform, which is now in beta and not yet public. SmarterTravel will also be on the TripAdvisor social network sharing articles, videos, photos, and more.

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The 661 million existing TripAdvisor reviews of hotels, restaurants, and attractions will remain on the site, and users will now have the added option to sling ideas and opinions in a social media-style feed. That way you can focus on insight from the trusty brands and travelers you choose to follow, instead of random strangers.

All users will be able to create “trips,” which can be private or visible to followers, to organize itineraries or keep track of ideas for future trips. Think of it as a Facebook feed for travel planning and inspiration, with (hopefully) fewer political opinions and baby photos posted by your long-lost high school classmates.

Searching a travel destination on the new TripAdvisor will populate “a personalized feed of information,” TripAdvisor said in a statement. “For example, members planning a trip to Paris may see 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.”

No more sifting through the opinions or reviews of people you don’t trust or pestering friends for travel help: Following them all on a travel-first social stream could be the first step toward better vacations.

Will you try out the new TripAdvisor social network when it’s released? Comment below.

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By Shannon McMahon

Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning her next trip and often writing in her travel journal. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_ and on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

Shannon joined SmarterTravel in 2015. A former news reporter, she's lived in the south of Spain, spotted elephants in Sri Lanka, gone spelunking in the Caribbean, hiked Jordan's Petra Basin, interviewed Sao Paulo's Michelin-Star chefs, and explored China via bullet train. Travel trends, news oddities, and her visits to up-and-coming destinations are some of her favorite things to write about.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Sun, Huffington Post, Business Insider, blog.TripAdvisor.com, Boston.com, and more. Her educational background is in journalism, art history, gender studies, Spanish, and film. She's been quoted as an expert travel source by CNBC, People.com, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Plenty of extra thick hair elastics. They tame my frizzy curls and come in handy in a surprising number of packing and hotel dilemmas."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Climbing (yes, climbing, it's steep!) the Great Wall of China before it's gone."

Travel Motto: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window, of course."

Email Shannon at smcmahon@smartertravel.com.

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