WHAT: Tripbirds.com is a search engine for the social media-obsessed. It sorts hotels according to where your friends have stayed, which hotel has the most "likes" (as on Facebook) or Instagrams (as in photos shared on Instagram) -- and, yes, price and star ratings.
HITS: 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 and photo attached.
MISSES: City searches are inconsistent. I found 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. "Barcelona, Spain," produced more than 700 hotels, but only eight in "Portland, United States (Oregon)." Note: Reservations are made through Booking.com.
-- Jen Leo, Los Angeles Times