Google & Facebook move to shorten the distance between discovery and booking

Google Bucket lists and Facebook City Guides are trip planning tools that could also be useful travel brands. Andrew Hennigan reports.

We’ve probably all shared our bucket list ideas through Facebook or email, but mostly in a haphazard way and, ironically, these often remain as firmly on the to-do list as many of the trips themselves.

Now Google Maps’ users can build bucket lists of places they’ve visited or plan to visit and share these lists with friends. Users benefit by learning about interesting new destinations from each other and Google benefits – as always – by gathering more data about our preferences. This is further proof of Google’s self-confessed move up the trip-planning funnel which has strategic implications for the travel industry, something we will be looking more closely at later this week on and at this year’s upcoming events.

Google is claiming that the biggest winners will be travel brands, which can use the new bucket list features as part of an advocacy campaign to attract new business. What they have done is make it really easy. Users don’t need to download a new app to use it; instead it simply adds new functions to the popular Google Maps app that most travellers already use.

How it works

Zach Maier, Google’s manager for the Google Maps product, says getting started is easy. All the user has to do, he says, is open the Google Maps app, find the location that they want to share, tap on the place name and then save it. This adds the location to one of the standard categories like ‘Want to go’ or ‘Favourites’ but you can also create new lists to separate, for example, restaurants from the best museums.

Lists created like this can be shared using email, social networks and popular messenger apps. Tapping the ‘share’ button creates a link that can be sent to anyone. All they have to do is to tap ‘follow’ to see your list on their map.

Read rest of the article at Eye for Travel