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Mobile operators have a lot of data on how their users travel, and can think out of the box to create these simple services using other digital services like IFTTT.

This is a simple-yet-smart service from UK mobile operator O2, to help its users on the road set up simple rules for posting on social media and other online services while they are traveling.

Called JetSetMe, these rules are set up using the surprisingly useful-yet-underhyped service called IFTTT, which allows anyone to set up rules (“recipes” in its lingo) to connect two different online services and automate certain tasks. (For example, if you connect your Facebook to your Twitter, if you update your Facebook profile pic, you can set up a rule to automatically update your Twitter profile pic too.)

For O2, the new “channel” JetSetMe allows users of its phone service in UK to set up rules to carry out pre-made actions when they are roaming. For instance, whenever you arrive in a new country and start up your phone, you can automatically sent a tweet to your followers you’ve arrived in the new place. Or a more useful one: auto update your Yammer feed to let your business colleagues know you’re travelling and in a different time zone so they don’t call you while you’re sleeping.

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As with other IFTTT channels, users can create their own “recipes”, and couple of users already have. JetSetMe has an API available which allows others to create and then authenticate new rules for travel. It has also done a visualization of all its UK customers who are roaming around Europe, right this moment, and aggregated data and trends.

For now this service is only available to O2 users in UK, free of charge, but O2 parent Telefonica plans to open it up to other countries in its network soon.

Telefonica is looking to extend this to other travel-related services as well. From its blog: “Looking forward, Telefónica is also exploring other potential uses for the technology. For example, if a customer chooses to share this information with their bank it would remove the need for the customer to inform their bank that they are travelling and thereby reduce the likelihood of having their card declined while abroad.” That one we like the most.

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Tags: social media

Photo credit: The JetSetMe visualization of all O2 Uk customers roaming around Europe.

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