Visiting a city for the first time is exciting. There’s so much to do, so many things to see, and so many places to visit. Before jumping in a car or hopping on an airplane, it’s a good idea to book hotel accommodations. This is, as most people find out, the tricky part. Trying to figure out where to stay during a trip means scouring the Internet for reviews and photographs.
Narrowing down one’s hotel choices can take weeks, even months, to figure out. Questions about a hotel are hardly ever answered quickly, and trying to discern real reviews from fake reviews seems impossible. This is where the new Latvia-based company Reach.ly comes into play.
What Reach.ly Will Do
Reach.ly has one goal in mind: to gain the attention and dollars of hotels across the world. How does the company plan on achieving this goal? Reach.ly gathers information from Twitter users, compiles this information (including user names), and sells it to hotels. Hotels that use the Reach.ly service can then contact those Twitter users that Reach.ly has made note of.
For example, let’s say that you are about to visit New York City, and you have been tweeting about your trip. Reach.ly will pick up on these tweets, record your Twitter username, and sell these details to a hotel located within the Big Apple. This hotel will then reach out to you with offers, deals, and information about their hotel. All, of course, with the hopes of getting you to book your stay with the very same hotel that sent you a direct Twitter message.
Spam, Invasion of Privacy, or Just Annoying?
There’s no doubt that Reach.ly will appeal to many hotels hoping to gain visitor information. But, there’s also no doubt that targeted Twitter users may become annoyed at a number of hotels attempting to make contact. Consider, if you will, your current Twitter stream. Chances are that you receive some spam now and then, and you have to sift through this spam in order to avoid clicking on the wrong link.
Now, think about what you might do if a handful of hotels started to send you messages.
You will likely become annoyed unless these hotels offer you unbeatable deals. Technically, this could increase your chances of getting a great nightly rate, but before you can figure out which rates is the best, you’ll have to go through all of those offers. Seemingly, this service will annoy many users, and this may not be the image that some hotels want to project.
Reach.ly Has Bigger Goals
Reach.ly announced that the company will soon be looking to target all kinds of different hospitality and tourism companies. Restaurants, shops, and excursion centers may all get in on the annoying Twitter action. The thought of all of these companies bombarding Twitter users with personalized tweets is enough to make your head spin. In fact, it’s reminiscent of too many island shopkeepers who attempt to entice tourists into shops by screaming out “unbeatable” offers.
The Reach.ly service goes into full swing today (August 4, 2011), and there’s no telling how Twitter travelers will react. If you want to find out how Reach.ly works, just start tweeting about an upcoming trip, and you should be contacted with a myriad of hotels soon enough.