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Facebook Acquires Social Travel Recommendation Site Nextstop

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Facebook is acquiring social travel recommendation site Nextstop, according a blog post on the startup’s site.

The startup, which launched in early 2009, mixes social recommendations with search and adds a reputation system and elements of gameplay. It was founded by a couple of ex-Googlers, Carl Sjogreen and Adrian Graham, who helped launch Google Calendar (Sjogreen) and Google Groups, and Picasa. The site grew out of their frustration with finding interesting things to do in unfamiliar places.

According to the post, the startup’s employees are joining the social network, with Facebook acquiring most of the assets of Nextstop. The site will be shut down on September 1 but the startup is working on ways for current users to export their contributions to Picasa, Google Maps or other sites. Nexstop is also aiming to release a database of Nexstop recommendations and content under a Creative Commons license. The site includes information on nearly 100,000 recommendations for places around the world. We’ve learned that the founders will be working as product managers under Facebook’s product director Blake Ross.

What made Nextstop different from many of its competitors was its focus on making recommendations social. The site did more than just use Facebook Connect, Nextstop also used social elements to filter recommendations.

So could this mean that Facebook is going to deep further into socializing travel? Perhaps. But this also appears to be a talent acquisition as its founders are experienced in social products at Google.

Here’s an excerpt of the text of the blog post:

When we started nextstop just over two years ago, our goal was to make it dramatically easier to discover great things to do anywhere in the world. During that time, we’ve been amazed and delighted by your enthusiasm for this project, and it’s strengthened our conviction that information from friends and passionate locals is a much better way to discover the world around you.

It’s with that goal in mind that we have some big news to share today: nextstop has been acquired by Facebook. What this means is that we’ll be joining Facebook and that Facebook has bought most of our assets.

This creates a number of big changes for the nextstop product and our community, but we believe it’s an opportunity for some of the ideas behind nextstop to reach Facebook’s audience of more than 400 million users and have a much bigger impact on the world than we could on our own.

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