BA chooses twin cities for first foray into social media

British Airways is making its first move into social networking with the launch of a site that is designed to link people in London and New York.

The site – www.metrotwin.com – will be officially launched later this summer and is expected to be backed by a major media spend, which is pencilled in for August.

The blogging and networking site is described as an online community featuring “recommendations of the best places to go in both cities from the people who actually live and work there”.

The twinning theme is expected to run through the content, linking equivalent neighbourhoods, attractions and even people in London and New York.

Developers have been building the site since April and will continue to expand it once it goes live. It is not yet clear whether other destinations will be added later.

The airline has said in the past that it hopes to take advantage of blogging and other digital peer-to-peer channels.

In its annual report, published in May, BA revealed it was developing a “Google gadget”, which is now available to download from its website, to allow customers to have the latest flight and news and offers built into their Google homepage.

The report added: “We continue to look at other ways we can harness the knowledge and experience of our customers and staff for social networking and blogging.”

BA’s move follows the launch of subsidiary airline OpenSkies, flying from continental Europe to the US, which began services last month.

Meanwhile, it is rumoured that BA will announce a trans-Atlantic alliance with American Airlines and Spanish carrier Iberia.

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