Internet, Marketing

Online & tech trends I’m watching in 2010

By William Bakker | 01.04.10 | 3 Comments

In travel technology, I’m keeping an eye on these trends. These trends are at the front of massive change in the way we conduct our business.

66% of the global internet population is using social networks. For many around the globe, Facebook is the primary way of staying in touch. It has over 350 million users. Tripadvisor reported over 25 million visitors in November and WAYN has built a network over 15 million members. Building your network of friends or followers, leveraging your brand advocates, encouraging word-of-mouth recommendations and listening and interacting with your customers through social media channels is going to be a must. Instead of marketing to encourage people to visit your channel, bringing your content and services to where the people already are is going to be more effective.

And social networks can add value to your own channels as well. OpenID, Facebook Connect, Google Friend Connect, Sign in with Twitter are all tools that allow third parties to use a user profile as part of their website or application. This makes it easier for users to sign-up and provides opportunities for website operators to leverage a user’s profile and social graph while integrating content and services into social networks.

In 2010 mobile will explode. Apple will release it’s tablet, Google’s Android is gaining momentum and others like Nokia and RIM are still strong contenders. Competition drives innovation and therefore devices and operating systems will get better and better. Travel is already the third most popular mobile app category but we’re really only scratching the surface.And connected to the first trend, more and more people use their mobile to access social networks, Facebook already reports 15 million active mobile users.

Location Based
Somebody at home, in transit, or in a travel destination has different needs and this is where the real opportunity is. Mobile devices know your location, and even what direction you face. This allows for targeted information and services. Augmented reality might be novelty today, but it demonstrates the potential. Enhancing the tourism experience, providing customers service, upselling and cross-selling based on location and time will soon become expectations rather than novelty.

Real Time

If you combine the previous 3 trends, you end up with real time information and services. Twitter is the new news ticker. Somebody will break news seconds after it happens on Twitter and the network distributes faster than any traditional news media can. This will enhance the tourism experience as well. How long are lineups for an attraction? Where is a cool band playing? Where are my friends doing or recommending right now?

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