TripAdvisor Buys Photo-Sharing App Tiny Post

3/22/13Follow @curtwoodward

TripAdvisor, a big name in the original online travel game, is once again buying a smaller company as it tries to keep pace with changing consumer behavior.

Today, the Newton, MA-based online travel review site says it has purchased Tiny Post, a smartphone app that lets users write messages on photos and share them with others.

Yep, a photo-sharing app with captions (there’s an example below that the companies slapped together for the deal news today). So why is this a strategic move for TripAdvisor, which already boasts more than 200 million unique monthly visitors?

It sounds a lot like TripAdvisor is buying some talent that knows the mobile world first-hand.

In a very brief statement announcing the deal, TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer praises the team that built Tiny Post, saying the app “is a great fit with our continued drive to provide engaging and sharable content and I am happy to welcome this strong team to TripAdvisor.”

Since splitting from parent Expedia and becoming an independent public company in 2011, TripAdvisor has made a few acquisitions intended to boost its presence in social media and mobile applications—the dominant forces shaping the behavior of consumers on what used to be thought of as the Web. That includes app company EveryTrail and social software companies Wanderfly and Where I’ve Been.

TripAdvisor didn’t disclose how much it paid for Tiny Post, which was part of the 500 Startups accelerator program.

It also didn’t explicitly say whether the Tiny Post app will continue operating, although the company’s other recent acquisitions haven’t shut down all of their products, for whatever that’s worth. The Tiny Post crew will work out of TripAdvisor’s Palo Alto, CA, office.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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