New “Who’s Going? powered by FanSnap” Facebook App makes sure fans never miss a live event with friendsTuesday, July 5th, 2011
Not that long ago, we all knew where to go to get event tickets. If you got aced out at the box office, you had to take your chances out in front of the venue before the event. In the last few years, however, we’ve seen the rise of a safe and secure ticket resale market. The explosion of choice has been a boon for fans because “sold out” no longer means sold out. And, it’s not just the secondary ticket market where options abound. There are now many more companies powering box offices — Ticketmaster/Live Nation, Paciolan, Veritix, Tickets.com, Outbox, Ticketfly, etc.. All these options, while great in that they afford fans more choice, can also make it difficult for fans to know where to go to find tickets. The challenge is knowing how to navigate all of the options to find the best deals is what led us to build FanSnap.com.
Patent-Pending FanSnap Venue Maps
A list of 10k tickets from 50+ ticket sites is no way to find the ticket you want. With that in mind, we pushed the ticket list to the side and built a new kind of seating chart. Our goal was to show fans the entire ticket market at a glance. To do this, we plot available tickets on a dynamic, clickable venue map. We then assign a color to tickets based on the price of the ticket. Lower price tickets are light colors. Higher price tickets are darker colors. We were the first company in the event tickets space to do this. Fans love it because they can easily see the best deals at a glance. It’s an awesome feature, but we didn’t stop there. We added pictures from inside the venue so fans could see the view from their seat before buying. Fans can also click the venue maps to zoom in and see tickets by row.
FanSnap Partners with Bing, the Decision Engine from Microsoft
Building a great destination like FanSnap.com where fans find the best deals on tickets from sites across the web was step 1. Next, we partnered with large media properties to help them show fans visiting their sites great ticket deals. Our biggest partnership to date was another industry first. We recently partnered with Microsoft to embed the FanSnap ticket search experience within Bing. Now, when fans search for “Yankees tickets” on Bing, they see the FanSnap ticket search experience and FanSnap venue maps without ever leaving Bing. In so doing, FanSnap became the first ticket search engine to power one of the major search engines. This is a great solution for fans who don’t know about the ticket market. Now when Fans on a major search engine search for tickets, they actually find tickets — and not ten blue links to other sites they may not have heard of.
FanSnap on Facebook Makes Ticket Buying Social
The “social graph” was a term used by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to describe how Facebook is making a richer web experience by taking into account how people are connected. We, at FanSnap, know ticket search is a great way to find the best deals on tickets. That said, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can make that experience even better for fans. FanSnap.com and Bing Events powered by FanSnap, for example, are great ways for fans to find the tickets they want, when they want them — a great way to find the tickets you want for events you know about. But, what if you don’t know about an event?
We know that live events are inherently social. No one ever buys just one ticket. With that in mind, we set out to flip the ticket search model on it’s head. Instead of a ticket-centric model, we instead took a very fan-centric approach where we suggest events based on what friends are going to as well as Facebook “Likes.” When fans friends RSVP for an event, their friends will see it. In fact, friends will now see all the live events their Facebook friends are going to, where friends are sitting at those events and even tickets nearby. To do it right, we recreated the entire FanSnap catalog and venue maps within to Facebook.
So often, we hear from fans that they would have gone to an event if only they knew about it. We knew, to be indispensable for fans, we had to solve that problem right out of the box — with zero work from the fan.
Today, when a fan adds our “Who’s Going?” Facebook application, we show suggested upcoming events that the fan might want to go to based on the fan’s Facebook “Likes,” friends’ “Likes” as well as events friends say they’re going to. In initial feedback, fans tell us they love that and if there was no additional functionality, they tell us that just knowing what’s coming up and what their friends are going to is fantastic. We were happy to hear that, but we took it a step further. Several months ago, one of our engineers wondered, “if we can put tickets on a venue map, why not put faces on a venue map?” He then hacked together a working mock up of the first iteration of our “Who’s Going?” application. With it, you could tell your friends where you’d be sitting at an event by dragging your Facebook profile picture onto a venue map. That hack-day project has become a core piece of functionality in “Who’s Going?”. Fans can now show friends where they’re sitting, see where friends are sitting and even find tickets nearby.
We’re nowhere near done. In fact we see our Facebook work as only just beginning. We have a ton of ideas about how to make “Who’s Going?” even better, but we want to hear from you. Please tell us what you think.
We’re on a “mission from fans” and know we still have work to do to make the app totally awesome. We have lots of ideas and we’ll be updating the app often, but we thought it was important to get your feedback first.
Please add the app, give it a test drive, and let us know what you like and don’t like.