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Tweets from Above

Plane CartoonNo, this is not about God using Twitter so if you have any issues around that please put them aside now. This is actually about a service that some airlines are putting in place that utilizes Twitter and Facebook to update those who care where you actually are while flying from point A to point B. Just another update on every minute of everyone’s life brought to you by social media.

Mashable reports:

We’ve seen Tweets posted by plants, a space shuttle and even a house, so we shouldn’t be particularly surprised to hear that commercial jets are now Tweeting and posting Facebook messages (sorta). In fact, we think the idea is ingenious.

Admittedly, it’s not the plane itself doing the Tweeting: it’s the airline. Lufthansa has set up a new service named MySkyStatus that automatically posts the current position of your flight to Twitter or Facebook so your friends can follow your travels (and your friends living in those cities can look up!).

Here’s a look at the information that ‘you’ are giving your friends etc.

Tweets from planes JPEG

As a father I think this is pretty cool because the kids can play along while Dad travels. Heck, they might even learn something about geography (Twitter as geography teacher, will that be a source of revenue for Biz and boys?). As it relates to loved ones this is pretty neat because it is another touch point in a personal relationship. So for just telling the world where you are, it seems to me to be more unnecessary noise in an already noisy world. There’s self promotion and then there is self indulgence. I honestly only care that you landed safely not that you are still hanging in the air at 30,000 plus feet above the Azores with nothing keeping you safe but mysterious forces that don’t tweet. Of course, this is simply my opinion and if you think differently then that’s cool too.

Now, to the point of this being a marketing tool, this quote from Pete Cashmore makes sense and I certainly can see this value from a marketing standpoint.

I stumbled on the service because one of my Facebook friends was on a United Airlines flight today. Clicking the link in the update, of course, directs you to the Lufthansa MySkyStatus page with a Google Map of the flight’s position, meaning that Lufthansa is getting free social media promotion from people traveling on all airlines. Pretty smart.

So as with all things there are pluses and minuses. I suspect that the minuses for this one don’t come close to outweighing the plus side for airlines so expect more tweets from the sky soon.