EveryTrail Was “Unappreciated Gem,” Says TripAdvisor Exec: A Look Inside Today’s Acquisition

2/3/11Follow @wroush

As we reported earlier today, Palo Alto mobile travel publishing startup EveryTrail is now part of TripAdvisor, the giant travel review site based in Newton, MA and owned by Bellevue, WA-based Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE). EveryTrail’s iPhone and Android apps allow users to document their travels by uploading geotagged photos and voice memos, which are arrayed across online maps that friends can browse later.

It’s an acquisition that could help TripAdvisor juice up its own mobile apps with more user-generated content from EveryTrail users—and vice-versa, with EveryTrail users perhaps gaining access to the hotel and restaurant reviews shared by TripAdvisor’s 40 million members. But how the integration will play out is still unclear. To find out more, I called up Adam Medros, TripAdvisor’s vice president of global products.

Medros says not much will change right away—TripAdvisor intends to let the five-person team at EveryTrail keep working away on new features, such as the recently-added voice memo feature. But over time, Medros says, there will be interesting opportunities to weave the apps together. Here’s the full writeup of my interview with Medros:

Xconomy: Interesting news. Thanks for making time to talk.

Adam Medros: No problem. We’ve known Joost [Schreve, EveryTrail's founder and CEO] for a little while from the travel space. They have built just a great product, and I think this is something that was an unappreciated gem. We are super excited to have them joining.

X: How might users of TripAdvisor’s mobile apps or websites start to see EveryTrail functionality showing up?

AM: It’s day one of the acquisition, so it’s still early days in terms of figuring all that out. With all the acquisitions that TripAdvisor has done, we’ve always been really hands-off in making sure we let the business continue to thrive but giving it access to the resources the TripAdvisor travel community has built. We have, globally, 40 million users. So in the very near term, you’re not going to see a big difference. We will continue to let EveryTrail do their thing and grow. They have been doing all these great things, like adding audio to your ability to record.

But clearly, if you are in Paris, and you are in TripAdvisor and using TripAdvisor on your mobile device, and EveryTrail has relevant content, we want to surface that. What we love about EveryTrail is that it’s geo-based and contextual, so we can plug it into TripAdvisor, in terms of letting you download a walking tour and consume that content. That is the easy part. Offering up contextually relevant content to you wherever you are in the world. But since you are an EveryTrail user, you already know that it works in offline modes and can be a standalone app for that Paris trip. So those are things we think are exciting.

In terms of being able to record your trip using EveryTrail technology from inside the TripAdvisor app, that is a trickier thing to integrate. We’ll have to see when the time is … Next Page »

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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