Online travel agent MakeMyTrip, has launched Tripalong, which is essentially a social application around travel, which allows users to plan share their travel details – flight details, airport halts and cities they’re travelling to – with friends (LinkedIn contacts and Facebook friends), thus allowing them to connect if they’re on the same flight or airport or travelling to the same city.
In addition to that, whenever a user adds flight details, he’s also able to see other people (who’re registered on Tripalong) travelling on the same flight, with their brief profiles, so that he add them as friends, and connect. The user can also connect his MakeMyTrip account, so that flights booked through the site are automatically added. Currently, the feature is available only for domestic flights. Unlike other social networks, users cannot find and add friends outside their LinkedIn contacts and Facebook friends or unless they add a flight or an airport, and discover and add new connections.
Tripalong looks interesting, specially for people who travel a lot, since it explores the idea of connecting with new and old friends around flights and airports, where (single) travelers, find it hard to kill time. This is one reason we look for friends in the same city or at the same airport by tweeting, checking-in or sharing an update. So the service essentially intends to automate the process. Checking-in together with a friend, and getting a seat next to him/her, makes flights less boring. However, we’re not sure if everyone would like to connect with new people on the same flight on the basis of a brief profile. Also, LinkedIn contacts are majorly professional connections, so there are chances that one would not want to talk business onboard a flight.
We find it strange that the service ignores Twitter for friend connections. Perhaps a reason would be that Twitter followers can’t be classified as friends but it can tackle it by introducing another layer of approval for adding them.
The service has been conceptualized, designed and implemented TenTenTen, but the concept is not new:
Planely, a Denmark based start-up, also functions in way pretty similar to Tripalong, including allowing only LinkedIn contacts and Facebook friends to be added. Also, airlines like KLM have plans to introduce a feature wherein fliers will be able to choose their co-passengers on the basis of their social media profiles.