TripAdvisor turned to sister company TravelPod to debut a vacation-slideshow builder for consumers, and TV and movie-industry folks were recruited to fine-tune the user experience.
TripWow, the new TripAdvisor product which debuted April 26, enables consumers to take photos from their computers or photo-sharing websites, and build a movie-like, interactive slideshow, replete with animation, and share it via email or every social network you can think of.
Travelers also can embed their slideshows on their websites or blogs.
Take a look. Here's a demo of the product, complete with soundtrack:
Consumers merely upload their images, name the cities they visited, and then TripAdvisor patches it all together with special effects and animations on a map, the company says.
To build the product, TripAdvisor turned to in-house developers and designers at TravelPod, acquired in 2006 along with SmarterTravel Media (BookingBuddy and SmarterTravel.com), SeatGuru and TravelLibrary.
"The key challenge was ensuring the slideshows maintained unparalleled production values, yet were easy-to-use, and that the creation process involved as few clicks as possible," says Amelie Hurst, a TripAdvisor spokesperson. "Through user testing, we were able to bring the slideshow creation process down to only a few simple clicks, making TripWow the easiest way to create stunning slideshows online."
And, Hurst very quickly adds: "In one of our most successful user tests, a user was able to create a slideshow from start to finish in 28 seconds."
Some of us may take a bit longer to create our slideshows.
Meanwhile, TripAdvisor has applied for a patent for TripWow.
"We think that this new product is unique and revolutionizes how trip slideshows are created and shared, creating a new product category online," Hurst says.
We'll have to wait and see about the new, online-product category boast, but TripWow sure does beat interminable slideshows of yore.