Expedia’s check-in app for Facebook is designed to fool your friends, deliver bragging rights and produce bookings for the online travel agency.
But, do social media and the world really need a Facebook app geared to make it appear as if people are visiting places they’ve never set eyes on?
Does this amount to the corruption of location-based check-ins?
Or does this writer lack the humor gene? (Not thinking so.)
Well, if you are not a fan of the social graph and advertisers’ abilities to target and retarget you, then perhaps you will welcome Expedia’s new Facebook Check-In “game,” which “offers world exploration in a click.”
Hey, and if you need an alibi for the criminal justice system or an inquiring spouse, then who knows? Maybe this will work.
You then select a country, such as Australia, on a map and decide if you want to check-in at the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef or the Gold Coast, for instance.
You can check in with up to three Facebook friends or check-in alone at the destination even though probably none of you are actually there.
Once you check-in, the app posts your check-in as a Facebook status update, which you can customize, on your Facebook Timeline.
There’s no reason for your Facebook friends to doubt that you are at the Great Barrier Reef or Tiananmen Square, for instance.
After all, the status update also says, “Check out my pictures from Beijing — Tiananmen Square!”
Hey, why not check-in at the Great Barrier Reef and Tiananmen Square within 15 minutes?
Now, that’s traveling.
One of the payoffs for Expedia is what comes next.
You can “fulfill your dream to go to Beijing now” and check out the Expedia travel deals for hotels in the destination, the app says, after your complete your check-in. And you can also sign up for an Expedia deals newsletter.
Expedia is running a check-in promotion for the app April 4 to 13. There will be an Easter egg hunt using the check-in app withÂ Â£50 vouchers toward hotel stays being rewarded on the Expedia UK Facebook page, for instance.
The check-in app is available on all Expedia’s country pages on Facebook, a spokesperson says.
Let the check-in trickery begin — or not.