Facebook is poised to launch a service that experts warn could turn its 400 million users into pseudo travel agents.
Leaked screenshots of ‘Facebook Questions’ suggest the world’s largest social media network is developing a tool similar to Yahoo Answers, which allows members to ask questions to their fellow users.
Any topic will be open for questions but the capacity for users to share travel ‘expertise’ has raised fears that this is another development agents need to worry about.
However, Spires Travel manager Sara Mason-Parker, who has set up a Facebook group called Travel Gossip, is adamant that agents have nothing to fear.
She explained: “It sounds like it will offer similar content to the likes of TripAdvisor, which some people will find useful for research purposes. But no technology can match the personal service of an agent.
“It’s certainly worth agents keeping an eye on, but people who want that service and the security of having someone to look after them when something goes wrong will always choose to have a relationship with a trusted expert.”
Mason-Parker started her group last month, inviting fellow agents and suppliers to join a discussion about the issues facing frontline agents.
She explained: “The most valuable benefit of a site like Facebook is that it gives you the ability to interact and communicate with fellow professionals.
“As more operators and agents join and participate, its usefulness will grow quickly. But Travel Gossip is a closed group and we know every member is a travel expert.”
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