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Author: Dennis Schaal
Jetpac, the social travel iPad app, picked up $2.4 million in funding and introduced an Atlas feature, enabling you to peruse your Facebook friends’ photos taken everywhere from Abu Dhabi to Yunnan, China.
Social travel sites and apps are the trend du jour, of course, and until the inevitable shakeout occurs, there will seemingly be almost as many such sites and apps as Internet cafes.
The JetPac website describes itself thusly:
“Explore the world through your friends eyes. Save your favorites from your friends’ best travel photos. Build your BucketList of places to see before you die. Guranteed to give you wanderlust.”
But, for now at least, Jetpac is more of a photo-sharing app than a social travel one.
You sign on through Facebook and then Jetpac pulls in a ton — really, a lot — of your friends’ Facebook photos, whether they are directly travel-related or not.
Most do seem to have been taken in one destination or another — wouldn’t they have to be taken somewhere — even if they were shot locally.
You can view the pics by your friends’ names, and then indicate Love, I’ve Been or Want to Go, or you can view them in the new Atlas feature by destination.
I can view my Facebook friend Alex Kremer’s photos of Moscow, Christie McConnell’s Sydney, Australia, pics, or a snapshot another friend took of an alcoholic beverage in a high-heel shoe because it happened to be taken in The Bahamas.
Poland Spring or Poland?
If you are my Facebook friend, you can also view a photo I took at home of two large Poland Spring bottles.
It’s not particularly artsy, either.
The volume of photos in Jetpac is enormous, and supposedly they are curated for quality.
TechCrunch reports that Jetpac, through high-tech and manual intervention, only selects about 10% of Facebook photos.
Still, that’s a big number and it seems somewhat voyeuristic.
Yes, you can view your friends’ photos on Facebook, as well, but did we really intend to give Jetpac permission to disseminate our intimate family photos through its app?
I mean, literally, photos of Bar Mitzvahs, family portraits and bike rides.
Jetpac may one day turn into a social travel app, but for now it is more like a photo free-for-all.