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Facebook Declares Travel Industry as Focal Point in 2014
By: Jason Will
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When you use Facebook it is most probably in the context of sharing updates and photos and interacting with friends. In 2014, that may all change.

Facebook is about to enter the travel market, which has historically been dominated by Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline, and Travelocity. Google and Microsoft have seen little traction in this industry, but Facebook is making the case that during each phase of travel (dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing, and reflecting) users within the social network share information about every single one of those.

There’s a main question that needs to be addressed by Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, considering they have seen little progress up until now. How can these companies differentiate themselves from the considerably large players? My personal opinion is this will be done through acquisitions of smaller technology companies that can easily be folded into the social media landscape.

With the recent development about Facebook reading private messages, does this raise concerns about privacy and security issues? It should be clearly understood today that anything we do online can become public knowledge, whether it be through the company itself leveraging that information for revenue or the multiple security breaches we have witnessed over the is past year (i.e. Snapchat). Are you willing to purchase a trip through Facebook?

Customers are eager for a change in their travel search and booking, which makes mobile a key differentiator moving forward. The historic Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) were built for the web platform, which makes their transition to mobile quite challenging. The user experience changes and features people have grown accustomed to are no longer available.

What is your favorite place to book travel and why?

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About the Author
Jason Will is an avid traveler and entrepreneur based in San Francisco where he serves as the Co-Founder and CEO of Zipkick, which is the first travel site to completely customize the search results on an individual basis. Zipkick is Netflix for travel and their mission is to make travel search more accessible and mobile. Check out www.zipkick.com and connect with Jason via Twitter or LinkedIn.  
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