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The link between travel and social sharing is becoming stronger than ever, according to research conducted by TripAdvisor. The world's largest travel website surveyed 1,700 respondents from the U.S., to gain results that showed a distinct correlation between travel and social media. In fact, over three-quarters of respondents reported they had shared travel experiences using social networks. In addition, 42% of respondents use social media to plan their trips, while 40% use social to gain inspiration for travel. A substantial 64% usually go to a travel-focused research site such as TripAdvisor or Thorntree Forums to find inspiration for their travels.

Photos Shared by Almost All Travellers

Travellers are most likely to use social media to share photos of their travels. A huge 91% of travellers post photos of their trips to their social networks. Other types of updates are far less popular, with 57% of respondents posting status updates, and 34% 'checking-in' during their trips.

People don't stop using social media just because they're on holiday. In fact, travellers like to share details of their trips both while on the road and after they return home. While 39% tend to share travel experiences on social networks following their trip, just over half said they share trip details both while traveling and after returning home.

Interestingly, despite the popularity of social media, physical methods such as scrapbooks or photo album remain the most popular ways to document an extended trip, as reported by 49% of respondents.

Skift took this topic a step further and asked consumers more in-depth questions about how they share their travel photos. As we already learned that the vast majority (91%) of travellers do share their photos on social media, this area is worthy of further exploration. Skift's research focused on social media photo sharing, as this is clearly the most influential method these days, but also included print photos as an option for those who prefer doing things the old-fashioned way.

Facebook is Top for Photos, But Old-School Print Beats Twitter

The research found some elements that were expected, and some more that were more surprising. In brief, Facebook is number one in the U.S. for travel photo sharing. Combined with Instagram (which Facebook owns) and this dominance is reinforced still further. But surprisingly, a considerable amount of people (at least one third of respondents) still choose to print their photos and share with family and friends in a more physical way. Less surprisingly, many of the respondents who chose print as their photo sharing method were at the older end of the age spectrum. Instagram was the preserve of the young, with the 18-24 age group using it the most frequently. Also surprising was the fact that only 3.9% of people use Twitter to share travel photos, making the microblogging service an insignificant part of the travel photo sharing universe.

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