MakeMyTrip has launched a social app, Tripalong that integrates a user’s favourite social networks and maps travel itinerary to help connect with friends while traveling.
The app has been conceptualised and developed in association with TenTenTen Digital Products, a company that helps brands reach out to today’s connected customer by creating large social apps.
Speaking at the launch, Keyur Joshi, COO and Co-Founder, MakeMyTrip said, “This is a social application that will enhance the ‘fun’ quotient of your travel experiences. A unique platform to engage with old friends and meet new people, Tripalong extends our brand promise of creating ‘Memories Unlimited’.”
Ramesh Srivats, MD and CEO, TenTenTen Digital Products added here, “Social networks are more than just new ‘media’. They have changed the very way in which people interact with each other. So there’s no point in using them as yet another channel to pump brand messages. In fact, in this world, brands are built by actions, not words. Tripalong helps MakeMyTrip do just this. We have lots of features that will be added to Tripalong, to make it even more powerful and useful.”
With the Tripalong initiative, MakeMyTrip hopes to acquire more consumers and insights into consumers. “Eventually, with the learnings that we get out of consumer behaviour at Tripalong and the new set of customers that we acquire, we will figure out a way to leverage that data to offer specific tailor-made services to suit customer needs,” Joshi added.
He, however, calls this “fringe benefits”. The core is to help Tripalong take a life of its own and be a company that is independent of MakeMyTrip and be the “Facebook of travel” in India.
As for promotions, MakeMyTrip is using television and online extensively with a little bit of print. Joshi divulged, “We are one of the highest spenders online. In fact, around 60-70 per cent of our marketing budget is earmarked for online spends.”
Joshi further said that Tripalong was a free app and would remain as a free app. At the moment, there is no particular revenue model to it. Since the app is in the social media space, the revenue model would not be very different from that of other social media players.
Tripalong allows users to register on www.Tripalong.in. The user can link their Tripalong account with their LinkedIn and/ or Facebook accounts, which will provide access to their friends already on Tripalong. Upon adding flight schedule (date of travel and route), the application auto-prompts the user for airline detail and departure time. It then shares details of friends registered on Tripalong who may be traveling on the same flight, or be at the same airport with opportunity to ‘intersect’. Friends can then choose to connect offline. MakeMyTrip flight purchases can be directly synchronized with the app.