Adding a ‘social layer’ to the travel industry with the Gekko Facebook app

Who can blame companies, no matter how big or small, wanting to integrate somehow with Facebook, after all the social networking giants have got more than 750 million active users worldwide. Gekko, the personalised international hotel booking service, is the latest company to join the Facebook integrating trail, unveiling a one-stop Facebook application that simplifies travel planning and purchasing, via the world’s biggest social networking site.

Gekko-Facebook

When it comes to travel we do often turn to our friends and family, our ‘trusted’ sources, who often have similar tastes to us, about where to go and what to see, so why not exploit this valuable information ahead of your travel plans?

The new Gekko Facebook app is the first all-in-one Facebook travel app, with a social twist. By collecting and organising travel recommendations from friends, users are tuned in to the best locations, deals and places to visit from their valued and reliable sources. The app also features a “Request-a-Deal” button, which, by just one click, allows bars, restaurants and hotels reply to users directly with personalised offers, enabling users to be informed of the best prices and book accordingly.

Talking about the new app, Gekko’s CEO Michel Cassius said:

“Gekko is evolving the hotel discount model. Consumers get the best price and are offering highly personalised deals by hotels worldwide and by restaurants, clubs and bars. And with our full Facebook integration we add the social layer to the booking process, making it both engaging and fun.”

And being fun is what social networking is all about, right? Being able to interact with others virtually and share thoughts, information and advice is at the core of social networking, forums and other online interactive sources and Gekko is evolving this trend into the travel industry. Users of the Gekko Facebook app can exchange useful tips of travel, track and trace new travel discoveries and share lists of favourites and personal insights about particular bars, beaches or walks, anything associated with travel.

Find Gekko here: www.facebook.com/gekko

TWIG:Robot arms, GEKKOLinks and Blackbox M10s

The Week In Gadgets

This week saw the launch of the Blackberry Torch 9800 and Blackberry 6 OS to a lukewarm press reaction. We also saw the release of the call-me-anywhere satellite phone – the iSatphone Pro and a cloud based music service from the Carphone Warehouse. There were also some guitars made from paper.

The good people at thepresentfinder.co.uk pointed me in the direction of the frankly amazing Remote Controlled Mechanical Arm – a build-your-own remote control robot arm.

robotic-arm

I can’t believe I just typed “build-you-own remote control robot arm” but apparently they not only exist but can be yours for £39.99. Billed as an educational tool, the Remote Controlled Mechanical Arm lets you learn how machines work and it is a great insight into the basics of control systems. Get one from here. And get me one too.

Last week we looked at Blackbox’s i10 silencer earphones and this week they released their M10s which have the same Active Noise Rejection technology but in an overear cup style (which rotate so they are ideal for DJs). They also have a similar price to the i10 silencers, retailing at £89.99.

Travel bloggers should check out GEKKOLinks, a new service from the save@gekko people that automatically converts mentions of hotels on websites into affiliate links and makes a small box appear with relevant information including availability and prices from multiple booking engines.

GEKKOLinks

In theory, the GEKKOLinks service should improve sites for readers – you could be reading a review of Hotel Yoruba, decide you like it and book a room without leaving the site. And publishers should get a cut of any bookings as well. You can sign up here.

Over the course of next week we should have reviews of some new and exciting iPod docks, a 3D camera for under £200 (well £199.99) and some spy cameras. Should be wild.