Pinterest-meets-travel-guide startup Wanderfly is everything TripAdvisor (TRIP) isn’t: social, curated, and beautifully designed. Hoping to tap into the trend of using a social graph to make everything just plain better (without having to pull that off itself), 12-year-old travel reviews site TripAdvisor announced Tuesday that it has acquired Wanderfly.
Founded in 2009, Wanderfly uses Facebook friends and Google Contacts to give users recommendations on hotels, restaurants, and activities. You can also follow any users on the site and get updates when they add their tips and opinions. The social features seem to be the biggest attraction for TripAdvisor: “The Wanderfly team understands the value in social travel planning,” said TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer in a statement.
TripAdvisor is where you go to find reviews on the exact hotel you want to book, but Wanderfly is for browsing little-known and personally recommended spots. Wanderfly leans on tags used to organize all of the content on the site. Every entry, whether it’s a hotel, business, or attraction, is required to have at least one tag, such as romance, family, budget, or luxury, that describes the business or activity. The tags make it easier for people to browse the site and discover vacation activities they hadn’t heard of or considered.
Wanderfly is organized by city and country boards (similar to what you’d see on Pinterest). Within each board, there are recommendations for hotels, restaurants, landmarks, and unique, local places. Every entry includes at least one photo, a map, a tag, and descriptions from Wanderfly users. Maps come from Google and contact info is pulled from Foursquare. Users can upload their personal photos, and add tags and their recommendations, such as “The bar gets crowded after nine,” or “Request a north-facing room for the best views.”
The terms of the deal will not be disclosed. Fans of Wanderfly shouldn’t worry — TripAdvisor owns 18 other websites that operate independently from the mothership. While the main TripAdvisor service is likely to benefit from the expertise the acquisition brings, it’s unlikely that Wanderfly will wander off into oblivion any time soon.