Since launching early last year, young social travel site Gogobot has been off to a pretty good start, or at least it has, shall we say, been hitting all the stops. As Jason pointed out recently, it was named one of Time’s top sites for 2011, won a Crunchie for best design in 2010, and brought its total funding to just under $20 million with a series B raise from Redpoint Ventures, Battery Ventures and CrunchFund. It launched a good looking iOS app in October, and has seen its user base grow 10x in the last six months.
But, so what, right? As we’ve written before, the travel space is rife with newcomers. And TripAdvisor, the leader in the space and the veteran incumbent is on its way towards an IPO, but there are still a few things it doesn’t do as well as some of the younger travel sites. Gogobot CEO Travis Katz specifically cites fraud and the fact that most reviews are left by strangers — not your friends — and it’s this social travel recommendation functionality that Gogobot, I would agree, does fairly well.
The trick for these young startups is to leverage the wealth of data now available from social and LBS services to give their own apps and websites a more robust set of features, and Gogobot has followed suit, integrating with Facebook, Foursquare, sharing via Twitter, etc. Part of its success is thanks to a veteran team of former Myspacers (and Ori Zaltzman, one of the guys who built Yahoo Answers), who’ve gone down this road before and know which social buttons to press (and which ones not to touch with a 10 foot pole).
The other key is that Gogobot has built a reservoir of travel photos, and its iOS app allows users to select their current location, snap a photo choose from different filters (like the Instagram for travel), and turn those into geo-tagged postcards. With its new mobile app giving users the ability to create geo-tagged postcards on location during their travels, Gogobot’s announcement today that it will be integrating with Flipboard — the iPad’s social magazine of record — makes a lot of sense.
The integration will take a realtime stream of travel photos and experiences from around the globe, generated using Gogobot’s iOS app, and transform them into a travel magazine. This will allow both users to flip through global postcards in a Flipboard magazine-like experience to reflect on their travels, or to let users at home browse photos from the comfort of their iPads, discovering new places and getting inspiration for their next trip.
Each photo that one takes with Gogobot can now be transformed into a postcard, automatically uploaded to their Gogobot Guide, easily shared to Facebook, Twitter, and now Flipboard in a magazine-style spread.
Also of note: Fotopedia launched Flipboard integration this week to create a tech-style magazine for the Le Web Conference in Paris.
For more, check out Gogobot at home here.