Travel search site Skyscanner develops and launches @FlyScan Twitter flight finder tool from scratch in only 24 hours.
At 12 noon yesterday (GMT) Skyscanner set itself a 24 hour challenge to develop and launch a new @FlyScan flight finder search tool which lets travellers tweet destinations and dates and get an immediate tweet back with the best price available and a link to buy it. At 12.00 today, after a massive team effort, @Flyscan is now live!
“This has been an extraordinary effort,” said Skyscanner’s Development Director Bonamy Grimes. “The idea was dreamed up by some of the Skyscanner team over dinner the night before last, and the @FlyScan project was given the go ahead just yesterday morning. The team worked flat out for the rest of the day and through the night to make it happen.
“We hit a number of challenges, as you’d expect, and we’ve had to find some imaginative ways round them. Development is going to continue today while we iron out a couple of glitches. For instance we’d hoped we could get a million Tweets out in the first 24 hours but we didn’t anticipate some of the volume constraints on the Twitter platform. We’re working out now how to boost capacity so we can keep up with demand, so please bear with us while we do that.”
Skyscanner has pledged to donate £25,000 to Comic Relief when the first 1 million @FlyScan tweets have been sent. As an added incentive, to make things more fun, over 5000 prizes are being given away, including an iPad2, flights to New York with British Airways, £250 lastminute vouchers, a Kindle, flights to Europe with Monarch and ebookers hotel discount vouchers. Winners will be picked randomly from our first million Tweeters.
“We’ve known for a while we wanted to create something special for Twitter,” said Bonamy Grimes. “We set ourselves the challenge to do it this way partly for the hell of it and partly to raise money for a very worthwhile cause and we’re very grateful to the companies who have lent their support and donated such fantastic prizes.”
“As one of the team put it, we’ve been running on caffeine and techtosterone during the last 24 hours! Anyone who wants a flavour of the atmosphere at Skyscanner HQ should check out the blog at http://flyscan.org and send us any feedback and suggestions to us Twitter @skyscanner. It’s triggered a lot of new ideas too. We already have a ground-breaking new social media based project in the pipeline. Watch this space!”
@FlyScan – a step-by-step guide
1) Tweet @FlyScan with details of the flight you’re looking for, e.g. @FlyScan London to New York on 14 June, or @FlyScan flights from Edinburgh to Paris in August
2) @FlyScan will send you a customised response with details of your flight
3) Click on the link to go to the Skyscanner website and book your flight!