Could Facebook emerge as the next big player in travel? Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he expects to see competition from the social network, in a recent interview with travel site Skift.
“We do think that travel is such a significant portion of e-commerce that Facebook will have a travel-specific product,” he said.
It seems a safe assumption, given Facebook’s recent experiments with e-commerce and travel ads. The company has been ramping up its e-commerce ambitions with in-app storefronts for brands, a standalone buy button, and a new chatbot platform for businesses.
Earlier this month, Facebook introduced dynamic ads for travel brands. Travel sites can now target users based on search history and, more specifically, the destination and date they’re interested in. This type of ad was originally built for retailers and the new offering marks the first time Facebook ads are driving users to book directly with online travel brands, according to Barrons. Trivago, which is owned by Expedia, was one of the launch partners for Expedia’s new travel ads.
Khosrowshahi discussed this model of “co-opetition” with competing brands in a recent interview with GeekWire. He referenced Google, another tech giant building out its travel product.
“As competition goes, in this industry, everyone works together, everyone competes with each other,” he said. “We do compete with Alaska Airlines for audience but we also are a huge, huge partner of their’s and we are booking millions and millions of Alaska Airlines tickets and there is this co-opetition within the field. We compete with Google for audience. At the same time, we are a huge advertising partner of Google. It’s a reality of e-commerce, it’s reality of the Internet, and it’s certainly a reality of this category in general.”