I love to travel. Some people could care less about it, and that’s totally fine because there are a lot of things other people enjoy doing that I think is a complete waste of time like collecting beanie babies or going to olive oil tastings. But, like millions of people, I do love traveling. I love doing it. I love talking about it. I love everything that goes into researching and planning a trip, and, I love sharing my photos and experiences with others. In the last twelve months I’ve traveled to Las Vegas, Dominican Republic, Toronto, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Portland, San Antonio, Louisville, blah blah blah, you get the idea.

For whatever reason, in the past couple weeks I’ve become increasingly obsessed with finding a travel app where I could do a number of things. My list is as followed:

  1. Ability to research countries and cities and put together future itineraries
  2. Track and share the places I’ve already been
  3. Share my photo’s, thoughts and experiences with others
  4. See other peoples photo’s, experiences and recommendations
  5. Not be subjected to ad’s, meme’s, anything from Reddit or Digg or Candy Crush requests

Sounds simple enough right? Wrong. Considering Apple I think has something like a trillion apps on their App Store, I thought finding the perfect ‘Travel Social Network’ would have been a breeze. I have now currently downloaded 17 apps onto my iPhone and none of them are doing the trick. A handful apps do one thing really well, but most of them do a lot of things pretty poorly.

I couldn’t understand how in 2014 no one has come up with the Facebook, the Twitter, The Instagram, The Medium of Social Networks for travelers. It’s a completely untapped market. GoGoBot is by far the closest as far as I can tell with 2 million + users, and really, that is shit compared to how many people use other social networks like Twitter or Facebook.

I’m gonna try make the rest of this quick because this post is already getting long. In my opinion, there are 3 things a Social Network needs to be successful.

  1. Be easy to use and it’s reason for existing be completely understandable in black and white plain english
  2. Give users a reason to keep coming back and using it
  3. Be pretty to look at

Now, with that, these are the 3 things I think make a good Travel app.

  1. Great search engine and back end like Trip Advisor, Google, Yelp or GoGoBot with ratings, recommendations and basically anything that has to do with finding Hotels, Restaurants and things to do.
  2. Ability to create, organize and plan trips in a simple way (don’t have to be able to book flights or hotels although that would be nice, just all the stuff you’re gonna be doing and seeing)
  3. Be able to connect with other travelers.

After weeks of playing around with some apps I’ve narrowed down the two best ones. GoGoBot and Travelog. Both are good for different reasons and if the two got together and made one app tomorrow, I would buy as much stock as I could. Here is what I like about the two. First up, GoGoBot.

GoGoBot iPhone App

GoGoBot Download iPhone App

GoGoBot just did a total iOS 7 revamp to their app and It looks pretty darn good, unfortunately that’s where a lot of the good stops and the bad beings. The previous version of the mobile GoGoBot app was almost perfect, and honestly, if they just through a new coat of paint on it, they would have had the perfect ‘Travel Social Network.’ Now they did do a couple of neat thinks like adding weather in your current city and added a few new features for creating trips and creating ‘photo post cards,’ but for the most part they axed just about everything that made it a great ‘social’ app.

If you don’t know by now GoGoBot has around 2.5 million users and it keeps going up. The reason for this is because GoGoBot has a great back end. There are reviews, photo’s and recommendations on just about any city in the world and the more people use it, the more information there is going to be. Well, people use it. People trust it, and that’s a big deal. There was no other Travel app other than maybe TripAdvisor where I could plug in a city and get recommendations on just about anything like GoGoBot, no one was even close, and if you’re making a travel App that’s kind of important. What frustrated me the most was the way they reorganized their app.

If you look at any successful social network app like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter the Navigation UI is static on the bottom. You have your News Feed, maybe a Post button, your own page etc, you get the picture. Well, they got rid of that and replaced it with a side menu that pops out, but most of the time you’re in the app, you can’t get to it. GoGoBot also in their previous app had something called your ‘Passport’ which was a beautiful collection of the places you’ve been to and the places you want to go. That’s gone. The news feed is now called ‘Trending’ and it’s basically the same 4 pictures for hours on end and then a couple more pop up. When I’m not researching a trip and want to just indulge in other people travels, the new version of GoGoBot does not keep me coming back, and it’s sad because it used to.

Travelog iPhone App

Travelog download iPhone app

Travelog has absolutely nailed the ‘Social Network’ side of things. Their news feed is constantly filled with new posts and stories from your friends and even people you don’t know. It’s fun, every time I open it up I can see people from all around the world on new adventures. Your own page is brilliantly filled with how many countries/cities you’ve been to, and the albums you can create for each city is a lot of fun. You can comment on other people’s posts and photos. Creating wish lists and new trips is a breeze and also fun. Unfortunately though, creating trips or searching for anything really is kind of useless. You can add a trip to your wishlist but that’s about it. You can’t get reviews, or find real information on restaurants or sites, basically everything GoGoBot does so well. So in that sense, Travelog just seems like another Instagram nobody really uses.

Now I understand the founders of these two apps may have different intentions for what they want them to be. Maybe one doesn’t want to be a search engine, or a social network, and that’s totally fine. As of yet, no one has created a real ‘Travel Social Network,’ and I think a lot of people would really want one. A place where you can do all you research and planning and get ratings and recommendations. A place where you can organize and share your past trips and every trip to come. A place where you can see where other people are, and why they are there. Both GoGoBot and Travelog are so close creating that whole package, why not be the first? What are you waiting for?

If you liked this PLEASE RECOMMEND it and follow my collection on www.medium.com/@martinmoorejr. I enjoy writing about Travel, Technology and Photography, but not if nobody gives a shit. www.martinmoorephotography.com www.twitter.com/martinmoorejr #livemoredomore



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s