Using Social Media for Travel – Trippy

Well, I am back from my vacation and can’t stop thinking about traveling! I love seeing new places and meeting new people. I have especially fallen in love with Miami, as I love areas full of culture and there’s culture everywhere you look there!

I thought it would be appropriate to discuss an article posted by Business Week today on social media being used for travel. The article highlighted several social media startups for travelers, including Gtrot, TripAdvisor, and Trippy. However, it did not take a deep dive of how the sites worked, and I think this is important for users. So, this week I’ll be taking a look at each of these sites (as well as some others). Today I’ll focus on Trippy.

Trippy is supposed to be a travel site that takes in content and reviews from a user’s friends, but I found this to be far from the truth. When I first read about Trippy, I thought it would be more connected with a user’s presence on other social media sites. This isn’t the case. Trippy attempts to become an entirely new social media outlet, and in my opinion fails.

At first glance upon entering the site, it’s easy to see that this site bears an uncanny resemblance to another popular social media site- Pinterest.

As users create their account, they create boards to “pin” places they’ve been or want to be.

Users can download the “trippy” button to their web browsers to “pin” travel photos they see across the internet.

As they pin these items, it’s shared with users who follow their boards.

Is it just me, or does this tool sound familiar. I can’t help but wonder how painfully obvious it is that the site is using the same functionality as Pinterest.

Do I think this is helpful for travelers? Yes. But is the content there yet? No. Is the site original? No.

My overall verdict as a traveler: I will continue using sites like Yelp and MetroMix. Trippy was created because people trust the opinions of people they know, and reviews on Yelp and MetroMix are from people across the world. However, unless I have thousands of “friends” on Trippy, the reviews just aren’t going to be there, and photographs don’t help me. For example, if you browse “New York City”, you’ll just see countless unorganized photographs of shops and restaurants in NYC. What if I want to search for a specific restaurant, or even a type of restaurant? I can’t. Trippy doesn’t offer this functionality, and it leaves me extremely confused as to what value it’s actually providing its viewers besides providing inspiration for travelers.

What could Trippy could have done better? It could have used the Pinterest idea while connected with a user’s Facebook friends. The site could look at the posts of the user’s Facebook friends (looking at keywords, location tags, photos, etc) to get tips and reviews on where they’ve traveled, including hotels they’ve stayed at and restaurants they’ve eaten at. Users could also have the option to follow “thought leaders” and frequent travelers to supplement locations and places their Facebook friends have yet to travel to. And, number one, it could offer a search functionality.

Tomorrow, I will take a deep dive on another social media travel site- TripAdvisor.

-Bryan Nagy