Budget airline easyJet has partnered with Instagram to offer users a new feature which will allow them to find and book holidays to destinations that appear on their Instagram feed. The feature, which has been made available as an iOS app, is easyJet's latest attempt to leverage Instagram users' affinity for travel.
A report commissioned by Eventbrite found that 78% of millennials would rather spend money on experiences than on consumer goods. Millennials make up the largest demographic on Instagram and the #travel hashtag has more than 338 million posts attached to it. Combined with another rampant effect of social media, FOMO (fear of missing out) – a feeling 69% of millennials said they regularly experience – easyJet's reasoning for launching the app becomes clear.
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easyJet's tactic is to reduce the number of steps necessary to get from seeing a destination you want to visit to buying plane tickets to get there. iPhone users simply need to activate the easyJet app in their iOS photo settings and take a screenshot of the picture of the place they want to visit.
The app uses a piece of image recognition technology called "Optical Character Recognition" to pinpoint the location the image was taken. Speaking to The Telegraph, a spokesperson for easyJet explained how the app tries to "identify where the photo was taken by reading the text and detecting key landmarks".
The feature is only available for flights around Europe and due to the way the image recognition technology utilizes landmarks and descriptions to identify places, it can make mistakes. However, if the airline decides to expand the Look&Book feature worldwide, it could grow from a novelty to another way users scratch their #wanderlust itch.