Brought to you by Trover.com
About a month ago the folks behind Trover asked us to take a look at their travel app.
My initial thoughts were it looks a lot like Pinterest, and it kinda sounds like Instagram, and I need another social network like I need a hole in the head. I bet you’re probably the same right?
This year was meant to be the year of scaling back and prioritizing my time. I can barely get done what I need to do now let alone using ANOTHER network.
I had already made up my mind to say NO, sorry guys I just don’t have the time nor do I see the need. Things are going great for us on Pinterest, thank you!
But I’m human and love travel so took a sneak peek, and then another peek, and now four weeks later I’m currently more active on Trover than on Pinterest, and with a following of 4 million on Pinterest that should say something.
Are you ready to get addicted too?
What is Trover?
Trover is a travel app and a website, much like Pinterest and Facebook are both apps and web based.
It’s visual grid-like display of photos is similar to Pinterest, but Trover is purely about travel and a community of traveller’s sharing photos and tips dedicated to helping with both the discovery and planning.
Trover users submit “discoveries” in the form of a photo with a handy tip attached on how to get the best out of that place or expereince. It could be a beach, a waterfall, a hike to go on, or even a place to eat, stay or drink.
Here’s a sneak peak at our profile page:
On the other platforms you get the inspiration, but rarely do you also get the information.
Sound cool so far? Allow me to elaborate.
9 Things I like about Trover
1. It’s only about travel
Too often on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook we get distracted by photos of celebrities, pets, home decor, fashion, people’s personal problems, annoying selfies and endless quotes.
Do we really need another travel quote? I’d much rather a beautiful photo with a helpful description to fuel my wanderlust.
Trover is so refreshing. When you login you know it’s just other travellers sharing travel photos with helpful tips. And that’s it. No BS or self-absorbed updates.
Look, no selfies or photos of Kim Kardashian, (or cats)
2. Each image is from the original source
If there’s one thing that annoys me the most about Pinterest, it’s clicking on an image and being sent to a Tumblr account, a Google search image, a Flickr account or worst of all a porn site.
Who took the photo and how do I find out more about that destination? I like that each image on Trover is from the original source, another traveller out there exploring!
Anyone for Costa Rica?
3. Each image is geotagged
This is the magic behind Trover. Having each photo geotagged makes it easier for you to find the same place and experience. Click on the map icon and the geographic location opens up in a new window.
For example, here’s a photo on Trover of Pismo State Beach in California. And the second screen shot shows what happens when you click on the little map icon:
When you upload your own photos but the location you want to add is not in the Trover database, a map will automatically appear with the option to add a new place. Type in your desired location and save it – too easy.
4. Each image has a description
This is the part that makes Trover stand out from other sites. ‘Trovers’ are encouraged to provide useful descriptions and tips to enhance the visitors experience to the destination.
Often you’ll get behind the scenes knowledge, and insider tips, to help you get the most out of that area.
5. You can create LISTS
I love this function.
I’ve never been the most organised guy with photos and tips. I’m forever trying to find old photos for blog posts, and my idea of collecting inspiration was ripping photos out of magazines and pinning them haphazardly on a cork board.
To hell with that. With apps like Trover, I can organise my photos into lists of places and take them everywhere with me on my phone or laptop. You can create your own lists or follow lists created by others.
A list is similar to a board on Pinterest. And in the same way, you collect a bunch of discoveries according to a theme. Pinterest boards and Trover lists even look similar and makes it super easy to use.
You can see how this works with the lists we are currently creating with useful tips on Australia:
They’re a handy reference guide on how to have the best experience in Sydney or discover beautiful beaches in Oz.
But, it’s not just about us helping people to travel. It’s helping us to prepare for our future travels too.
We’ve got our sights set on road tripping New Zealand so I’ve started creating this awesome list on New Zealand Travel Tips from other Trovers:
Whenever I find a cool new photo showcasing a New Zealand experience or destination I want to have, I just add it to my list using the + or “add to list” button. I now want to stand here at Matai Falls like the guys from Living a Kiwi Life:
Another feature I enjoy is the ability to follow lists that others have created. I’m using this to help us plan our own travels.
For example we’re planning to road trip the USA after we’re done traveling around Australia, so I’m following Kristin’s California Road Trippin list:
And Laurence’s Out of the Way Australia is providing inspiration for our current trip!
Lists also provide you with a very cool map feature in the top left corner showing where everything is located. When I click on one of the yellow dots on my California Road Tripping list it goes from this:
6. “Explore this area”
A cool feature this one.
When you discover a photo and click on it, not only do you get tips on that photo, but down in the right corner is a tab called “Explore this area”. On your phone it’s called “Nearby Discoveries”.
Click on that tab and it shows you other discoveries around that location. e.g. when I open up this Central Park photo and click on “Explore this area” it goes from this:
All these new tips for the area, discovered by a click of a button! I must say, Trover does nothing to cure my eternal itchy feet problem and is good at getting you to click around and keep dreaming and learning.
7. The Search function
Visiting a new area? There’s a function for that.
A handy geo-search tool bar scrolls down the page with you showing the distance to other discoveries near you!
I’m currently in Airlie Beach so I type that into the search bar at the top right and start scrolling down. The closest places are at the top and as you scroll the places get further away. I got to 12 miles away, that’s far enough considering we’re currently car-less.
Yes, Trover knows where you are and shares the discoveries close to you.
Simple and smart!
Oh crap! I’m now looking at all these amazing places near Airlie Beach I did not know about and we’re leaving today.
8. The comment section
In the bottom right of each discovery is a comment section where you can engage with the Trover member who uploaded the pic. Very handy if you have questions or suggestions and it makes the whole Trover experience feel more communal.
Sure Pinterest has a comment section, but I have 4 million followers on Pinterest and I feel as lonely as hell. I’m on Pinterest probably more than any other travel blogger, but of the 12,538 pins I have added very rarely do I receive a comment. Maybe it’s just me?
But in the four weeks since I’ve started playing around on Trover I can already feel more of a community vibe forming, it feels more intimate and I see chatter amongst travellers.
It might seem like I’m bashing Pinterest a little, but it’s still my main go to channel and has been very good to me in bringing a lot of new eyeballs to our site.
And what I’m really liking now is the ability to share my new discoveries from Trover onto my relevant boards on Pinterest, which is helping my followers on both networks, win-win.
Did you know that 80% of pins on Pinterest are re-pins? Pinterest is crying out for new content and it’s been great discovering new photos and tips I can share with my followers over there.
Instead of having to check a pin before sharing to make sure it doesn’t go to a spammy site, I know the photos on Trover are legit and have helpful information attached.
You can share your Trover photos to your network of choice via the icons in the top left of each photo:
And I think I like the app better than the web platform to be honest. We are always on-the-go with our kids so it’s handy to be able to jump on wherever I am. I’ll be using it a lot today on our 5 hour bus ride in North Queensland.
Here’s a screen shot from my Samsung GalaxyS4:
When I first downloaded the android version of the app several weeks ago it was in beta mode and a little buggy uploading photos and geotagging a location, but now that it’s available to the public they seem to have smoothed things over and is working fine!
The only problem I’m having now is shitty phone connection in Oz. But do you think that sleepy koala gives a damn? Sure wish I could curl up against a tree and sleep like that.
Trover App features:
- Friends Discoveries – when you first open the app it shows photos of the people you are following. Much like your news feed on Facebook.
- NEW – this tab is a discovery function and shows ALL the photos uploaded in the area you are located. See that little bicycle icon, when you scroll down it turns into a car and shows you how many miles away you are from each discovery.
- HOT – this tab shows popular discoveries.
- Drop down menu – where you access all your account details and settings.
- Outdoor – scroll across the menu bar and it has categories like outdoor, food and art.
- Share & Comment – just like on the web platform you have the ability to share your discoveries to your favourite social network, comment, add to a list and thank your fellow Trover by clicking the heart shape icon.
[Caz’s input] When I first started using Trover, I received messages that people thanked me for my discovery. I sat a little straighter and thought, well isn’t that nice – people are thanking me! A thank is like a like, but I think it’s more human and better suited to a travel community. We share tips and stories and we thank each other for them. Ultra cool feature!
Limitations of Trover
- There’s a minimum photo upload size of 612 and many of my old photos from our travels are sized at 600 so I can’t add them which is frustrating.
- It would be nice to be able to share photos to my lists straight from blog posts, just like I can pin photos straight to my boards on Pinterest. This would save me time.
- Not every location around the world has discoveries (which could be a good thing really – is there still a place we can go and getaway from everyone??). So it doesn’t have the depth of TripAdvisor but it’s growing and that’s why we need you sharing your discoveries and tips!
- I can’t seem to @tag people in the comments section for some reason. Is this just me?
How to Get Started Using Trover
I found this travel app easy to use once I started playing around with it. Once you’ve joined you have the option of seeing what other people have added, or adding your own discoveries (photos).
Step 1. Add your discoveries
Adding your discoveries is easy. In the header, there is a link that says ‘Add a Photo’. This takes you to a page where you are asked whether you want to find the image on your computer or import it from Facebook.
After you’ve uploaded the photo, you’ll need to find the location.
You’ll then be asked to provide a description after you’ve mapped it. It’s that simple.
People will find your discoveries by searching for ideas in a certain area, by following your profile, or because it’s been added to a list.
Step 2. Create Lists
You can create lists about anything you like. I found it easy to create lists according to location. This way, I can get ideas about an area before I even get there and then add my own discoveries.
To add to a list find a photo and click that “add to list” button I was talking about:
Here are a few more of my lists for inspiration:
What do I think?
Well, what makes a good travel app? One that is functional and useful, and I think Trover does a really good job of this.
It’s easy to search, share, comment and curate. And it’s a lot of fun!
Another measure of a good travel app or website is how addictive it is and your time on site. My addiction is growing daily and I may just have to add more data to my phone plan, sucks that we don’t have unlimited data plans in Oz!
Whilst Pinterest and Instagram are great for inspiration, and Pinterest can provide information as well if it links out to a useful blog post, but often you are left with just a beautiful photo.
Trover helps with travel planning and removes a lot of the hassle of trying to find awesome experiences in your bucket list destinations.
Over time, as the community and number of discoveries grow on Trover – and I see no reason why it can’t – I think it could be better than Pinterest for travel planning, and definitely better as a social network.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up now and join the fun.
We’d love to see you guys on there.