Is traveling about to get more social? Orbitz has just announced that it’s using the new “Facebook Send” button on its hotel pages, which should make it easier to brainstorm travel ideas. To me, it seems like a natural fit for family vacations and trips with friends. Using the button, you can pop a link off to a limited group of people – instead of sharing it with the world – and make plans more easily.
I’ve been watching travel and social media for a while, and to be honest, I haven’t been blown away. For all the talk of travel being a natural space for social media sharing, the marketing execution hasn’t knocked my socks off. The new move from Orbitz, however, strikes me as a step in the right direction. By taking advantage of a new Facebook feature early in the process and allowing users to self-target, the online travel agency has put itself ahead of the curve.
“Orbitz is continuing its tradition of innovation by integrating with Facebook to make the search and book experience for travel more like the actual experience of travel – social, interactive and fun,” notes Sam Fulton, Senior Vice President, Retail, Orbitz Worldwide. “With the new Facebook Send button, travelers can easily share and solicit feedback on hotels from relevant friends or groups, which ultimately leads to making a more confident and informed choice.”The Facebook Send button, of course, is applicable to more than just travel, but the Orbitz announcement indicates an early lead for the company … in a space that’s becoming increasingly competitive. With the ability to send messages and links – for specific hotels, especially – to individual friends, several friends, Facebook message inboxes and email, collaborative travel is set to become much easier.
Unsurprisingly, Orbitz already has a user dynamic in mind:
Here is an example of how the Facebook Send button works on Orbitz: Travelers planning a summer getaway to Las Vegas with a group of friends can look at individual properties, hit the Facebook Send button to message or post those options to an individual or group via Facebook or send to their friend’s email. Friends can then view a full description of the hotel property on Orbitz – including room rates, photos, maps and reviews — and discuss as a group on Facebook before selecting a hotel.
So, do you plan to use this tool to plan your next trip? Or, is it more your style to pick up the phone? Take the poll below to let us know your thoughts on this!