As a tourist, our phones are one of the most useful tools we can have with us at all times. From googling where to go or buying the ticket, to taking a selfie in the Rockefeller Center. Then we’ll be posting it on any -or all- social media profiles you might be having. We just can’t go without our mini-computers.
This reality made digital tourism become a thing in our lives. Which makes it pretty clear why Facebook decided to launch a feature to give its users suggestions of places to visit.
When in doubt… ask your friends
“City Guides” allows the people you know, that have traveled somewhere recently, to categorize the places based on a ranking. So its aim is to let your friends be the ones to tell you whether or not a destination is worth your time and money or not.
The travel companion, will not only work with common tourist attractions, but it will also include bars, restaurants, and even events to happen. It will suggest -and possibly send notifications about- different things you might be interested in attending too. And, also, let you know which of your friends are going, just like you know your local Facebook features as well.
Where and when
The functionality will be placed on your Facebook menu and will show a list of primarily touristic cities that your friends visited (and shared on Facebook). When you click on the city, you’ll get more information about a potential trip for you. You will also be able to check the ranking of how your friends liked those particular locations.
Facebook started to test the City Guides last year and it’s still only available for some selected users. According to TNW, the company confirmed that and said they are making some changes and proceed with the testing: “We’re testing a redesigned surface on City Pages that showcases information about your city. This content already exists on Facebook, and during this test, we’ll be centralizing it in a way that is more personalized and relevant to you. So, this new feature can help people get a better sense of their city, or a city they’re visiting through their friends’ eyes.”
We really don’t know how long we’ll need to wait to have full access to this feature, but the truth is, that it’s really well designed, and it could change the landscape for digital tourism advertising. City Guides opens a new marketing face: events and places will now have to be included in the social organic sphere. Meanwhile, Facebook will increase its engagement, because more people will be using the site and will be talking about it. So however you see it, yes, Facebook did it again.