Snapchat, WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and many other messaging platforms dominate much of how the modern world communicates. Travel brands that haven’t jumped on those platforms yet are missing out on the future of how people prefer to communicate both at work and at leisure, around the globe.
Messaging apps are a place for connection. The one-size-fits-all booking search box is not a place for connection. Messaging is how you break out of the tyranny of the online travel search box, in use since 1995. Team messaging app Slack demonstrates just how penetrable messaging has become.
So far since launching, Slack has hosted the #nomads and #TNdistrict channels. The former is an invite-only 3,000 member strong group of (primarily solo) business travelers that “chat about life, work and travel.” The latter is a premium, subscription-based travel advice community for millennial-friendly black travelers.
These communities feel more intimate than tweeting at a brand or commenting on an Instagram photo. Messaging groups are focused and committed to their topics, and that is the mindset global travelers yearn for as traveling becomes more common in emerging economies where messaging is dominant and these populations seek advice on how to move about the world.
This article originally appeared on www.skift.com on 02 February 2016.