Friendshippr: Crowdsourced Courier Service
Friendshippr is a new mobile app that turns Facebook friends into a personal courier network by matching the shipping requests of users, based on the current location and upcoming travel plans of online friends.
The app, launched on Apple’s iTunes store last week, is free to use. However, the app does suggest rewarding friends who fulfil a shipping request with dinner or a cash sum.
Friendshippr follows in the wake of other ‘crowdshipping’ apps, such as eco-friendly traveller shipping service PiggyBee. However, Friendshippr is unique in its use of Facebook networks to ensure a trusted network of couriers is instantly available. Founder Ramy Assaf believes the app will enjoy strong success in emerging markets, where shipping networks are often slow, expensive and unreliable.
A recent survey by US advertising agency Campbell Mithun revealed that Gen Z-ers find sharing-based businesses the most appealing. This bodes well for Friendshippr, as much of its user base will likely derive from hyper-connected teens and millennials, whose travel experiences are likely to be more numerous and diverse than their baby-boomer counterparts.
In recent years, the world has seen a profound shift in consumer consciousness – one in which access to goods and services is becoming more important than ownership. Sites such as lodging platform AirBnB are revolutionising the hospitality industry, while clothes swapping, bike sharing and car-rental schemes are flourishing.
For more on the sharing economy, see Sharing Society. For more insights about how social media and peer-to-peer services are changing the travel industry, see Social Media Travel Revolution.