Imagine you’re buying tickets online to see State U. play in a big NCAA Tournament game. The familiar Facebook profile pictures of some of your friends appear on the page. They are even in the online seating chart. This lets you know that they, too, are going to the game and here is where they will be sitting.
That idea of social-media-meets-ticket-search is the driving force behind a new Facebook application introduced by search site TiqIQ.com that allows users to share whether they are attending events and even where they’re sitting. TiqIQ.com has rolled out the app, called TiqIQ Connect, just in time for the NCAA Tournament.
TiqIQ aggregates ticket information and prices from several online sources, including PrimeSport, the ticket exchange partner of the NCAA Tournament, as well as StubHub.com, eBay, TicketsNow, and many others. Using Facebook’s application programming interface, TiqIQ Connect can be accessed through any TiqIQ event page or on the search site’s homepage, TiqIQ.com.
The app allows a sports, music, or theater goer to indicate whether or not they are going to an event using a Facebook-powered “Who’s Going?” button. You do not have to buy a ticket from TiqIQ to use the app and the button can be found on event pages available at TiqIQ.com or through its publisher sites, such as SB Nation sports blogs, The Washington Post and The New York Post.
Here’s how it works:
— Click on the “Who’s Going?” button on the event page. You will then be prompted to log in to Facebook.
— Then the profile pictures will appear of your Facebook friends who have RSVP’d using the app, as well as images on the seating chart of those friends who indicated their location.
—You will then be asked “Are you Going?”, to which you can indicate your status as “Going,” “Maybe Going,” or “Not Going/Watching.”
— Once you select one of those three statuses, a post will be made to your Facebook wall indicating that status. If you’re “Going,” your Facebook profile picture will appear on the event page and there will be a link within the wall post that your friends can click on in order to get seats near your designated location.
— You can also send Facebook messages to those friends who are attending, as well as update your event status with one click.
TiqIQ.com chief executive officer Jesse Lawrence said the NCAA Tournament provided the right opportunity for the launch.
“Live event attendance is a natural environment for the social web to flourish and March Madness is the perfect launch-pad for this experience,” Lawrence said in a release introducing the app. “With 68 teams playing in 14 cities, TiqIQ Connect is a great way for the millions of alumni around the country to connect.”
TiqIQ also announced that users of the app for NCAA Tournament tickets will also have access to exclusive offers from PrimeSport. For the Final Four, March 31 and April 2 in New Orleans, PrimeSport is providing a paperless ticketing option. Purchasers will gain entry to the games at the Superdome by swiping the credit card used to purchase the tickets.
Since it began more than 18 months ago, New York-based TiqIQ has expanded its reach through a publisher network of nearly 1,000 sites, including leading independent sports and music blogs. According to web audience measurement service Quantcast.com, TiqIQ.com generates 3.5 million visits a month.