Fotopedia, a maker of ten travel image apps for iOS, has today updated its Paris and Japan apps to include links into relevant hotel listings on Expedia's booking app for iOS, Expedia Hotels.
As of today, Fotopedia apps dedicated to Paris and Japan will now feature an Expedia button next to every image at each respective destination.
Click the button, and you'll be taken to Expedia's app to see a hotel near the spot where the photo was shot. If you don't have the Expedia app, you'll be prompted to download it.
For those who don't know -- which includes much of the US tech media -- Fotopedia's apps are like customized, constantly updating coffee-table photo books made for mobile devices that draw on the company's collaborative image encyclopedia, which is generated from users' rights-protected photographs.
If the trial is successful, it may be expanded to other destinations that Fotopedia covers. In an interview, Christophe Daligault, the senior vice president of global business for of Fotopedia, says:
“We’re not sure what the conversion is going to be with Expedia, because this is our first time partnering with an OTA, but we’re optimistic.... Until now, we've been about inspiring people to travel but now we're hoping to help them, say, get from inspiration to action and purchasing."
Fotopedia's usage has grown rapidly, especially thanks to a content partnership with Flipboard, a news app for mobile devices. During the past year, Fotopedia images have been promoted by Flipboard as "featured content."
Fotopedia says it averages 250,000 visits a day across its apps, with more than 300,000 visits a day on weekend days. The publisher generates about 200 million page views per month in traffic.
In comparison, that activity is more than the mobile usage rate for traditional travel magazines, such as American Express' Travel + Leisure for iPad, via their tablet editions, and more than mobile traffic than is estimated to be received by the mobile versions of much-touted booking engines Airbnb and Hipmunk.
About 60 percent of Fotopedia traffic comes from iPad apps. The iPad user share of the audience has sped up with the debut of new models with a "retina" display that packs in more pixels per inch to produce richer images.
Until now, Fotopedia has earned much of its revenue through advertising on campaigns ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 per week. The companycan overlay text on images so that the line between content and advertising is blurred, resulting in more click-throughs and conversions targeted by interest.
Case in point: Fotopedia recently generated tens of thousands of downloads for a National Geographic paid iPhone app guide to the US National Parks within three days thanks to targeted advertising.
Daligault calls Fotopedia "a media company for the era of the iPad" and says it has three key comparative advantages over traditional print travel magazine and guidebook publishers:
"First, our company started with high-quality images as content, and images perform extremely well on tablet devices. If I could put my modesty aside, mot other many other publishers providing visually striking content. The Guardian's app is a notable exception. Maybe that sounds kind of cocky, and I don't want to sound that way, but I do believe we provide something that’s different because our company was founded with a focus on presenting high-quality images in the best way possible.
"Second, mobile changes a lot of things; when you’re on the web you have to focus on search-engine optimization because people are in a mode of hunting for specific information. But on mobile it’s complicated. People use apps more as a game of discovery than search, and, in a sense. search is far less relevant on tablets.
"Third, we're not simply re-purposing content we built for print or web browsers for tablets. The text and the layout and the content created for other mediums doesn't easily translate into mobile devices because users interact with tablets differently than they do with desktops or printed material.
"We have thought of mobile devices from the beginning, and specifically iOS devices because many of our team members have done stints with Apple, including Fotopedia founder Jean-Marie Hullot, who served as NeXT CTO and Apple Apps CTO under Steve Jobs for five years."