WTM 2012: Bynd pivots to offer apps, laying claim to be first GDS for social content

WTM 2012: Bynd pivots to offer apps, laying claim to be first GDS for social content

Silicon Valley-based technology lab Bynd is offering a suite of 25 apps to travel firms, claiming that it delivers a first GDS-type service for social commerce.

The firm was born out of a backend as a service API platform called Add To Trip developed by Momentum Design Lab, a user experience design specialist.

Bynd was created following a business strategy pivot to offer apps developed on top of the platform to customers for a licence fee.

It is particularly targeting the travel sector in Europe where there is greater fragmentation and therefore a large number of players compared to its US homeland.

Bynd - How it works

David Thomson, founder and chief executive of Bynd, said the firm has created apps that help firms integrate social into their websites for all stages of the trip planning and buying process.

“We have been developing social products for seven years. Today user experience and design needs to be baked into everything you do.

“It used to be you could release beta software but you cannot do that anymore, particularly not on mobile. Social is becoming addictive – everything is starting to become related.

“In the past people were using the web just to discover, today they are trying to adapt to become more mobile, using tablets and mobile handsets and trying to make the web more social.

“In the future, new ways of doing thing will emerge – you only have to look at the rise of Pinterest or Instagram. We allow people to push into Facebook and out into other places as they emerge.

“Our value is we increase user engagement, brand distribution and increase revenue.”

Among the apps Bynd has developed are a rail planning app which allows users to add hotel stays and restaurants at points along the journey.

There is also a photo sharing app and a trip planner that integrates with Foursquare, and a mobile journal allowing users to keep a digital diary of their trip to share later with friends.

Content is seeded in social networks and then amplified through its ‘desire engine’ as more and more people interact with the content.

Bynd is currently working with Where, which publishes magazines for tourists in the US, to make its content “more actionable”.

The Bynd apps can be integrated into client websites with the simple addition of JavaScript code. As well as the off-the-shelf apps, Bynd also offers more bespoke services.

Is claims its apps offer a more cost-effective way for travel firms to integrate social compared to them building their own.

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