Virgin America Targets Business Travelers with In-Flight Social Network

Making connections is very important in the business world, so why not do this while flying? While contained in such a limited space, you might as well try to make new friends.

Using Gogo Wifi and the Here on Biz geo-location app, Virgin America put together what they claim to be the world’s first in-flight social network. Anyone interested in this new way of making connections needs to log into Here on Biz using a LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook account. Since many airlines offer Wi-Fi while in-flight, accessing these social networks has never been a problem, but exchanging accounts would have required a previous interaction, whereas Virgin America’s in-flight professional social network works as the ideal ice breaker between business travelers.

People we’re traveling with no longer have to be single-serving friends, as Tyler Durden called them in Fight Club. Until now, people seated next to each other either didn’t speak at all to one another, or they kept everything to a minimum. Using Here on Biz, however, helps people get more details about their flight partners.

HereOnBiz, the developer of the eponymous app, also implemented chat functionality in this social network, but in order to carry a conversation, the participants need to have a professional connection. The major downside of Here On Biz is that it is available only on the App Store, so Android users are neglected, at least for the moment. After downloading the app and connecting through Gogo, business travelers are required to use another social network account to connect to Here on Biz.

In conclusion, anyone who wants to “take advantage of downtime in-flight to build or renew their professional connections,” as Virgin America puts it, should buy an iOS device, in case they don’t already own one, and give this in-flight social network a try. Who knows, they might actually make the deal of the century with a total stranger who claims to be a billionaire.

In other news, 24-year old Gabe Whaley developed Wingman, an app that helps people to hookup while in-flight. Whaley and Virgin America obviously have different target audiences for their apps and social networks, but the ultimate goal is the same. Both of them help you make friends, either for business or for personal matters.

Be social! Follow Walyou on Facebook and Twitter, and read more related stories about these Internet-connected light fixtures that reinvent physical social networking and the smart glasses that enable nurses to see through your skin.