It used to be that when you wanted to “be seen” somewhere posh or fabulous, you’d show up, mingle, and derive all your satisfaction from the eye contact and conversations you had with friends and acquaintances. Then smartphones, mobile apps, and location services emerged, and everything changed. Nowadays, making an appearance somewhere amazing—a trendy new restaurant or bar, someone’s wild bachelor or bachelorette celebration, a luxe resort in the Caribbean—is only half the secret to letting your social circle know that you’re out and about. Thanks to mobile apps like Facebook and Foursquare, the “check-in” has become an easy and popular way to let others know where you are, whom you’re with, and what you’re up to. You can even take a picture with your phone and instantly upload it to your page so that friends and family can get a glimpse of what you’re doing, whether you’re taking a shameless selfie on a stunning beach or a fun group photo with everyone in it tagged.
It’s clear that traveling to a destination—whether it’s for a week in paradise, a night at the hottest new club in town, or just a quick trip to your favorite store or dinner at Mom and Dad’s place—is now permanently intertwined with social media use, and that’s not going to change any time soon. In fact, Pinterest has just introduced Place Pins for users on the go, and it just may change the way we travel.
The Newest Way to Travel
If you’re an avid pinner, you may have already begun to explore this brand new Pinterest tool, which expands on the established idea of “checking in” by featuring a number of additional options. Place Pins, which is integrated with Foursquare, works by allowing you to select a map of the area you’re in and pin your photos to it. You can share your photos and details with friends, find information about other businesses and landmarks in the area, and check out other users’ maps for the scoop on an area you’re just getting to know. The University of Michigan, for example, has created a virtual tour for Pinterest users highlighting the most important places on campus to check out in person. The possibilities seem pretty limitless for both travelers and local businesses and cultural institutions looking to attract new guests.
What’s in Store?
Going forward, it’s difficult to say precisely how Place Pins will change the way we travel and share our findings and recommendations. If user comments can be believed, these new pins aren’t the easiest tool to figure out. In time, we’re sure most pinners will get the hang of them—and then the sky’s the limit. If you’re a small business owner, this means you have more opportunities than ever before to reach potential new customers, whether it’s with photos of what you have to offer or a guided tour of an area you service. It’s likely that things are about to get really interesting … so get to know Place Pins early in the game. This way, when its popularity explodes, you’ll already be an established presence on the scene.