Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Facebook Flight Search Powered By Evature

A cool mashup based on Evature's free text travel search engine debuted on the Facebook platform today. The new service enables users to type a Facebook message to find, and later book a flight without leaving the social networking site.
 
The tool, which is embedded onto a Facebook page, allows travelers to post simple flight search queries in their own terms, for example "Flight from Tel Aviv to Germany next Monday".



After the message is sent, EVA parses the text and analyzes the travel language request into a standardized flight search query. The query is later fed into a flight search engine and the best results (in terms of price and times) are posted as a Facebook comment to the original post, which sends an automatic alert to the Facebook poster.

EVA provides the flexibility to parse vagueness in the search text, allowing for searches with ambiguity in the dates, such as "next week", "the last 2 weeks of August", or even date-less searches. Other ambiguities supported are locations ("fly anywhere"), money ("for less than $300") and even flight attributes ("red-eye" / "non-stop"). This flexibility makes it useful for those just doing preliminary research.

The Facebook platform is challenging as the user interface is pure text and none of the widgets that power plain-vanilla web sites are applicable. In that respect this mashup is similar to the Twitter integration announced June. The Facebook and Twitter flight-search integrations are made possible by using EVA as the core engine, the travel language parser built by Evature.

Try the new tool at https://www.facebook.com/SkyscannerFlightSearch
and play with our tech demo at http://evature.com/demo