Jetpac debuts Tuesday as a Facebook friend-propelled rocket belt, taking you on a visual journey around the world for your travel inspiration.
The startup has developed a travel magazine-like iPad application, slated for release before the end of the year, that culls Facebook photos to recommend locales and attractions to visit. It also points you to the right Facebook friend for travel advice.
Intrigued? You can sign up, reserve your profile and get a sneak peek at what’s to come.
“The best place to get excited about travel right now is still magazines and guidebooks … and to talk to friends to get their travel stories and recommendations,” co-founder Julian Green told VentureBeat in an exclusive interview. “What Jetpac tries to do is bring those two things online and make them better.”
The startup connects to Facebook to marry a rich magazine-inspired experience with travel recommendations from friends. Jetpac then analyzes the thousands of photos your Facebook friends have shared, determines photo locations and activities pictured, and plucks out the best shots — it knows that a photo of mom and dad, for instance, is usually not a good one, so these are automatically left out — to place them into entities called “trip books.”
Trip books represent the latest and most popular places that your Facebook friends have been to. Trip books include only the photos that will help you make informed travel decisions. You can see who’s been where, click a picture to see photos in a slideshow, “like” a photo and save it to your stream for even more content related to the pictured place, follow activities like scuba-diving, and connect directly with friends for travel questions.
“It solves that problem of, ‘How do I know in real-time where my friends have gone and had fun, and are willing to tell me about?'”
Jetpac’s visual approach to travel recommendations is currently powered by Facebook photos, but the startup will soon add additional inspiration sources, including Instagram and Flickr, Green said.
The startup, founded in 2011, is based in San Francisco and has raised $300,000 from angel investors.