On Thursday, Dopplr launched a very cool iPhone app that puts the social atlas into full use. In essence, it’s a mobile travel guide getting its details from Dopplr. It’s even better when you have an account with Dopplr, you can do the usual stuff of seeing where your friends are and best of all, contact them if you don’t happen to remember their contact details at that moment (or don’t have them on you).
I had a quick e-mail exchange with Marko Ahtisaari, the CEO of Dopplr and he was excited about the new release. Furthermore, he told me that they have begun to see an increase in travel for early next year – basically stating that companies will be increasing their travelling then (if Dopplr has been able to hang on to their target group of business travellers). Then again, these are simply travel plans at this point and no real connection to the easing of the recession can be made in the end (but I do wish it would be right this time).
What’s interesting in my opinion with the release of the social atlas iPhone app is that Dopplr seems to be taking steps to making the service more of a social travel guide than a direct competitor with TripIt. In my opinion, this is the direction I’d want the company to go – there is a lot more potential there despite it being a very difficult one. Furthermore, this might be wise in the case that the business travel market is very hard to capitalise. Regular non-business travellers might be more open to paying for working online travel guides as they are to making ad-hoc reservations to hotels through a mobile app.