Tripl Travelogues

Travel startup Tripl, originally a social connector for travelers, has undergone a reinvention as a virtual travel scrapbook. I checked out the newest version at Dreamit demo day.

The original version, if I remember right, allowed users to find friends, and friends-of-friends in the cities they’d be visiting. Seemed like a neat concept, and one I would absolutely have loved when I lived in Yantai, and I really, really wanted English-speaking friends. As an expat, I often met with distant connections of my distant connections to help them adjust to Chinese life or just meet another Westerner (and I was lucky enough be helped by Old China Hands when I needed it!). Now I live in New York, and if I met up with every single friend of a friend who happens to pass through town… well… um…. no.

The new version of Tripl is a social scrapbook, creating and displaying trip memories.
The design is just lovely, and Tripl pulls in additional content about the destination, like travel articles and related images. This part reminded me of OffBeat Guides, a print-on-demand customized travel guide, although of course the goal with Tripl is more a social memory book than travel planning.

By pulling in public info from Facebook and FourSquare, Tripl doesn’t require a user to have friends also using Tripl in order to see their travelogue.. This cleverly avoids the empty-room feeling that social startups often have. It can be really difficult to see if a product would be useful and fun when the only other users are the devs.  Of course, it also makes me hyperaware of just how much of my life is geotagged already… Tripl considers 100 miles to be a trip, so you won’t see any gorgeous travelogues of my SCVNGR checkins at my local coffeeshop. (Still waiting for my auto-cool location app.)

Future plans include tying in Instagram, an obvious next step for a travel-photo app, but the staff is wary of taking on too much and working on too many features, preferring instead to focus just on social travel scrapbooking.

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