UPDATE III: TripAdvisor in the US told us: "This is untrue. Beyond that, we do not have any comment."
Influential blog Mashable has reacted with barely disguised astonishment today after discovering TripAdvisor has bought a Facebook application for $3 million.
The Where I've Been tool - yes we've tried it out - has around 2.3 million "users" (or those that have installed it on their Facebook pages) and simply allows people to plot locations they visited on a world map, which can then obviously be shared with friends.
"INSANITY", screams Mashable. [Full post]
"We say users in a relative way, however, since these surely aren’t as valuable as the users on an independent site: they’re “borrowed” members of Facebook who could ultimately decide that they’d like to switch to a different travel app.They've got a point.
"Monetizing them, meanwhile, is also a challenge. No doubt TripAdvisor was wise to tap the youth demo through acquisition, but justifying that price seems impossible."
We understand travel search site Sidestep recently snapped up the services of a university-based Facebook application developer to work exclusively on these kind of projects for them.
Anyway, congratulations to Where I've Been creator Craig Ulliott for trousering the $3 million.
Kevin May, editor, Travolution
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