One of the joys of travelling is sharing your stories, tips, photos and….yep also inducing a little travel envy in others too. Well now it’s never been easier. Designed by an Australian startup, ShutterBee is one of the shiniest new apps which taps into the ever popular social interaction market. It’s a place where you can connect with other travellers, track and share your own adventures and check out other people’s at the same time, all starting with a simple tap of a button.
We’re always eager to try out a new travel app so I downloaded for free on iTunes. It was easy to sign up and create an automatic profile through Facebook so in no time at all I was having a search around – on first impressions it was nicely laid out and very easy to navigate through the various sections. The app allows you to post updates from your trips in the form of check-ins, photos and panoramas which can then be tagged with the location and also the weather, which is a detail we really loved.
For example one the most popular photos in the galley is the increasingly ubiquitous view of beautiful Smugglers Cove on the Greek Island of Zakynthos, and the temperature there 6 days ago? A not too hot, but not too cold either 18 degrees. It may seem like a small thing, but this kind of information can help you decide whether you should chance the destination during the off season or wait until the balmier months (say if you’re more of a sun worshipper).
In a true sociable fashion, the gallery also allows you to like other users photos and make comments too, which is a great way to start making connections with other travellers.
One of Shutterbee’s main functions is to create a record of your trips (or one long journey) and also share with friends, family and other travellers. One of the ways you can do this is by marking the destinations you’ve visited on an interactive world map – a simple but effective way to make feel proud of your globetrotting efforts and motivate you to fill in the gaps at the same time.
I’ve visited 35 countries so far and it also allowed me to upload photos from my past travels. You can do this by posting a photo you took with your iPhone and the app will automatically upload the location information for it. Alternatively you can download your travel photos from Facebook or Instagram.
Another app feature is you can gather a little travel inspiration and advice from genuine travellers. For starters you can scroll through photos or other traveller’s “check ins” in a particular country, city or place. I searched for one of my favourite cities, Copenhagen, and scanned through all the uploaded photos and checkins. There was a number of images featuring the city’s usual tourist haunts like the Little Mermaid and Nyhavn but there was also quite a few other places I wouldn’t have thought of visiting either – like the rather regal looking Royal Library. I swiftly added it to my app bucket list in preparation for my next trip – another handy feature!
I particularly loved the community aspect of Shutterbee and this was nowhere more obvious than the app’s discussion boards. Shutterbee’s users seem like a friendly, upbeat bunch of bona-fide travel geeks whose advice I would trust – there wasn’t a dodgy fake review, a nasty troll or third party link in sight… which is very refreshing! Private messaging is also allowed and it seems like a good place to hook up with potential travel buddies if travelling solo isn’t your thing.
Overall it’s a great community based app – we loved the interactive map feature, the photo inspiration, the trustworthy travel advice and how easy it was to virtually meet other people who share the same interests. Although, of course, the app is completely dependent on an active community of users… so why not sign up and start tracking and sharing?
How to start using the ShutterBee Travel App
The app is available for free on iPhone or iPad on the Apple App Store and it will let you sign up quickly using Facebook or an email address.