At the recent Facebook Developer Group in New York, one of the their most interesting products was touched on "Facebook Places" which enabled Facebook to engage more with their users. It also seemed interesting that not much has been done since Facebook's purchase of travel startup Next Stop in July 2010 which was official closed last month.Facebook said that it's Facebook Places product was one of the final pieces of the puzzle so they can understand the following about your social networks:
- Who you know (Friends)
- What you are doing (Status updates)
- When you did it (Status updates)
- Why you went there (Places)
Facebook photos are already the largest photo site in the world, and a number of them are taken while on trips/holidays so it's a very smart move for Facebook to look at a more structured and easy way for its members to share.Blacktop solves the issue of Twitter and FourSquare flooding your friends News feeds with multiple posts. Blacktop also allows for integration with Facebook Places & FourSquare which could make Facebook more of a travel platform than just an add on feature. Blacktop is still very early in the concept and makes sense for Facebook to buy them now before they grow any larger, you can get the Blacktop preview from iTunespartnership with Amazon which allows Amazon.com to benefit from the social recommendations engine and its very easy to see how that can be expanded to cover verticals such as a travel network. The smart thing would be for Facebook Travel to link in with Bing Travel that should allow more traffic and visitors for Bing and friendly partner for Facebook.Facebook has a new product announcement tomorrow and my guess that its going to be either a Facebook travel product or improve an existing product that will set the ground work for Facebook Travel to be launched later. It seems to be only a matter of time before its launched and it will further strengthen the Facebook mobile platform as most people carry their mobiles when they travel.