Innovation That Matters

Twitter tool shows who else is at the airport

Travel & Tourism

Airports and Twitter have one thing in common—they both create an ever more connected global village. Be that as it may, airports themselves can still be pretty lonely places while waiting to board. A French Twitter tool aims to remedy that: bored twitterers need only tweet #boarding along with an airport code (e.g. LAX), and they’ll get a reply with a list of twitterers in that airport in the last few hours. Alternatively, displays a map of all the world’s airports and the users in them. Users can choose which random stranger they’d like to tweet and maybe meet while in transit. Like Lufthansa’s MySkyStatus, which tweets passengers’ flight updates on their behalf, it’s an example of real-time applications adding an automated element to the ongoing conversation that our sister-site calls foreverism. Web developer Damien Guinet created the @boarding ‘twitterbot’ when he realised many of his followers would tweet just to say they were in an airport. He decided to add value to this by letting them find out who else is there. Although he designed the free service “just for fun”, it constantly records data to build up a picture of the most tweeted airports, and Guinet recognizes the potential to partner with airport-based advertisers—perhaps tweeting relevant airport discounts to users of the service? (Related: Connecting airline travellers for a shared cab.)



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