Microsoft is finally giving up on Bing Travel and Expedia's new acquisition
In 2008 Microsoft launched a travel component to their Bing search engine. Bing Travel had its own app and even a travel news blog. But Bing Travel never took off like how Microsoft wanted it to, even with the $115 million acquisition of Farecast. Farecast was a fare-prediction startup, that was meant to be an airfare search function for Bing Travel. So after years of trying to promote Bing Travel, Microsoft is shifting its efforts to MSN Travel. The MSN.com portal averages 425 million unique visitors a month, and as added destination guide content from Frommer’s TripAdvisor, and others. Microsoft has began pushing users to MSN Travel and mobile users to the MSN Travel App, something it use to do for Bing Travel.
Expedia has acquired Travelocity for $280 million in cash from Sabre. A deal for Travelocity seemed to be eminent after its parent company Sabre unloaded Lastminute.com in December, a deal is still being finalized. Sabre has owned Travelocity for the past 19 years, so the deal signifies an organizational shift for the company. They can now focus on promoting and marketing Sabre Sabre CEO Tom Klien had this to say about the deal, “We have had a long and fruitful partnership with Expedia, most recently by partnering to strengthen the Travelocity business, so our decision to divest Travelocity is a logical next step for us both.” Travelocity offers thousands of destinations to more than 20 million people per month.
Skift released a full report documenting Facebook strategies for travel brands. It offers takes on how companies throughout the travel industry can take advantage of Facebook and its acquisitions over the years. What is surprising is how many companies aren't necessarily just relying on Facebook to reach the masses, but two other mobile applications which Facebook acquired. Facebook acquired the video sharing platform Instagram and the messaging app WhatsApp. Travel companies have been quick to embrace Facebook’s other companies, finding unique ways to attract new customers, and keep current ones engaged. So Facebook can direct brands to Instagram or WhatsApp, and still maintain their already strong hold in the social media scene.