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The train of thought among skeptics in the travel industry is that there’s already a social network for travelers. Facebook is already the platform of choice for friends soliciting travel advice, sharing trip photos, and checking-in to destinations.
We’d be interested in seeing someone prove them wrong and create a thriving community just for global travelers outside of the existing social network. These following four startups are attempting to create those platforms based on specific value propositions from finding travel companions to passing time on a train.
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Oh Hey World is a mobile website that lets frequent travelers share their safe arrivals via Twitter, Facebook, and email in one click. It also connects them with other travelers in nearby locations.
SkiftTake: Is the task of visiting Facebook, Twitter, and your email really so tedious that there needs to be an app that does both? Many business travelers might think so, but they’ve also become so accustomed to checking those sites that it will be a tough habit to break.
TripTogether is a social network for travelers. It aims to serve a platform where travelers can find trip companions, meet locals in foreign cities, and share experiences
SkiftTake: Travelers are already sharing this information and seeking out travel advice from friends and friends of friends on, yes, Facebook.
The community will be what makes any site like this work, but with many tester profiles still populating the site, there’s no clear direction in which way it will turn.
Zucano launched in February 2013 with the goal of making downtime during commuting and traveling more enjoyable. Users plug in their social networks, type in their destination, and see how and when friends are going to the same place.
SkiftTake: It’s tough to get a real feel for the site since we couldn’t find a single traveler to connect to after handing over access to our Facebook and location. The community needs time to grow, but it’ll be tough acquiring users with this limited of functionality.
Placety encourages users to broadcast their Places, or check-ins to followers. The app gamifies check-ins by keeping track of how many people view and comment on users’ Places and allows users to message one another. The neatest feature is the Augmented Reality View that adds a layer of information to users’ current locations.
SkiftTake: Placety is a hybrid between a social discovery and location based platform, but comes off feeling like a Instagram for places. The ability to view and comment others’ places lends it to becoming a place for users to daydream rather than plan concrete trips.