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Published: Saturday, October 13, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Hotel search engine uses social media

Here's a hotel search engine for the social media-obsessed.
Name: Tripbirds.com.
What it does: Sorts hotel searches according to where your friends have stayed, which hotel has the most "likes" (as on Facebook) or Instagrams (as in photos shared on Instagram), social media interactivity in general -- and, yes, price and star ratings.
What's hot: I love that when I search for hotels in New York or San Francisco, Tripbirds tells me which of my Facebook friends have stayed there (and -- scary -- when they visited).
It even dares to suggest that I ask them what they thought of their stay. If I want it to, a Facebook message bar pops up with the hotel's info attached.
What's not: City searches are hit or miss. I did find decent results when I tried San Diego, but there weren't options for hotels in the beach cities north of downtown.
When I tried Atlanta, GA, it said no cities matched my search. I tried again by typing just "Atlanta," and that worked better. It prompted me to select "Atlanta, United States," and then produced 138 hotels to choose from.
"Barcelona, Spain," produced more than 700 hotel options, but only eight in "Portland, United States (Oregon)."
Note: Reservations are made through Booking.com.

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