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Welcome to This Week In Reviews, a weekly digest of the most important stories about online reviews, customer feedback, and customer experience. This week: Marriott creates a hotel laboratory, social media companies cut off surveillance data, and more.

Hotel Laboratory

Marriott opened a hotel laboratory this week, according to a press release. The M Beta gives the company opportunities to test out new ideas such as an interactive kitchen and dining space, on-demand fitness, and locally sourced products in a community area. Concepts to be tested at the hotel will rotate every so often.

The hotel is located in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Guests can test out features and give feedback in real time by pressing “Beta Buttons,” which are located all over the hotel.


Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Used for Surveillance of Activists and Protesters

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provided data to Geofeedia, an analytics firm that provides services to law enforcement to track activists and protesters, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The data was used for recent protests, including the protests that took place following the shooting of Michael Brown.

The social media companies have since cut off Geofeedia’s access to social data.

The news comes at a time when government access to social media data is under skepticism.

“Social media monitoring is spreading fast and is a powerful example of surveillance that can disproportionately impact communities of color,” according to the ACLU.

TripAdvisor Will Ban Ticket Sales to Cruel Animal Attractions

TripAdvisor is making headlines this week with its announcement to stop selling tickets to attractions that are considered cruel to wild and endangered animals. It’s the type of attractions that offer elephant rides, swimming with dolphins, and interactions with exotic animals.

The attractions are said to cause animals psychological and physical trauma, which can keep the animals from living a full life, healthy life.

That’s all for this week. 

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs 

(Photo Credit: Marriott International)

Megan Wenzl

Megan is the Associate Editor for ReviewTrackers. She's a writer who is committed to finding useful information to help your business succeed. Megan holds an M.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago.


  1. Samantha

    I love Marriot’s idea for this beta hotel. I think it is a cool interactive experience for customers and at the same time gives the hotel wonderful feedback on ideas they can implement in other locations. I think that trip advisor’s new stance will be a very controversial one. While it is a wonderful cause I am not sure how kindly some people will take to it