Sharing holiday snaps through Facebook, the social network with over 500 million users worldwide, is not only helping people stay connected in the virtual world, but also influencing people’s travels in the real world, Skyscanner, a travel search site has revealed in the results of a poll.

A recent poll by the flight comparison website found that the power of pictures has a very strong influence on Facebook users’ travel plans, with more than half stating that seeing friends’ holiday pictures had inspired them to book a holiday to the same place.

According to Skyscanner, a whopping 88 percent of respondents loved to nose through their friends’ shots with half of those admitting to doing so because “they could see what they had got up to and with whom!”.

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words and here is the proof. Facebook is the perfect platform for two very powerful influencers of travel; a personal recommendation combined with alluring images. From Orlando to Australia, seeing our friends’ adventures can certainly plant a seed that later leads to a trip to somewhere you never previously thought about visiting,” Sam Baldwin, Skyscanner travel editor, said in a statement.

About 45 percent of respondents also said that Facebook encourages them to visit their friends abroad more and despite some recent reports that have claimed Facebook reduces real life contact, only 5 percent of people said that being on Facebook actually meant they were less likely to see their friends in person.

The Skyscanner survey also revealed that Facebook is playing an increasing part in the organisation of group travel with 46 percent of people having either organised or been invited on a trip via the site.