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Travel search and comparison site Momondo launches an app to bring a social dimension to picking a holiday destination
Selecting a holiday destination from a blank canvas throws up some tough questions: Beach or city? Near or far? Lazy or active?
Danish-based travel search engine Momondo’s Friend Compass app aims to bring a social dimension to selecting and booking a holiday, and disrupt established travel search in the process.
Friend Compass, developed by McCann London, uses the phone’s GPS location and the Facebook API to show where the user’s friends are located around the world and the cost of flights to visit them.
Locations can be sorted by price, distance or weather, making it easy to see how much it would cost to visit the furthest flung friend, or the one in the warmest spot.
When a destination has been chosen, flights can be purchased directly in the app.
Julie Pedersen, spokesperson at Momondo said: ‘Facebook has changed the travel landscape, and according to the social network’s own stats, travel is the second most talked about event we share with our connections. With Friend Compass we’re making travel search social and challenging traditional travel search.’
Inspiration / 65% of leisure travellers begin researching their trip online before they have decided where or how to travel, according to Ipsos MediaCT research. Encouraging people to see their friends, based on their emotional, social ties rather than highlighting the rational benefits of potential locations is a brilliant point of inspiration to tap into.
Facebook is a natural location to share holiday photos and source travel tips, so people already associate the social network as a space to source travel ideas. Friend Compass provides a smart utility in the ability to visualise Facebook friends, and associates Momondo with travel inspiration.
Frictionless bookings / The ability to book flights direct through the app is an important one, particularly as ecommerce on mobile grows. The Association of British Travel Agents' consumer survey in October 2013 found that the 16 to 24-year-old age group is the most prodigious user of mobile devices, with almost half (46%) saying they had used a mobile or tablet to book a holiday abroad online in the past year.
Re-imagining travel search / While Friend Compass provides a stronger call to action than the standard blank form of traditional travel booking sites, it would be interesting to see this function integrated more widely through Momondo’s offering. For example, a ‘connect to Facebook’ option on the website would help to bring the idea of socially-inspired travel to the centre of the brand proposition, rather than restricting it to those who have chosen to download the brand’s mobile app.
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