Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Frederic Mazzella (BlaBlaCar member Join): “The magic of the new … – Les Echos

More than 10 million members in the world, a presence in 14 countries … How do you manage this community?

We are on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube … with more than 1.7 million members . An internal team, multilingual and centralized in Paris, manages requests and messages of our community. Social networks allow us to communicate with our members and to establish a link between the online and “real” life. But it is also a great source of information for us in terms of data mining. There are a few months, we have also implemented a policy based on the dimensions of Big Data with suitable tools and services. The idea is to improve customer relations and optimize our services through predictive analysis.

After launching your carpooling site in 2006, the choice you make today a mobile strategy. Why this shift?

This is the magic of new technologies, which allow to adapt and anticipate changes in the medium term uses. Today, 30% of connections are mobile but in a few years, most of our members use BlaBlaCar member Join that since their smartphone. This trend, related to mobility, is inevitable, and we know it. End of 2014, so we designed a new mobile application for passengers as for drivers, even easier to use. New features have been added, such as the search filter (ability to select routes by price, experience of the driver or according to departure time), editing a user profile, smart cities or suggestion yet the history of recent research to allow members to easily find their favorite routes. This native app on iPhone and Android, is completely autonomous website.

Are you going to announce the end of the web to mobile services?

No, of course, the platform Internet will remain accessible via a computer, but in France and abroad, the focus will be on mobile. This is a deliberate choice on our part. We have taken this step in several countries [Turkey, India, Russia, Ed] in which we recently implemented. In these markets, the penetration of smartphones is such that, for most people, the Internet means mobile phone. In terms of business, this strategy allows us to go faster, to capture more users and to offer a mobile service available everywhere. In our industry, I am convinced that the future of the Internet will go through the phone. That is why we are targeting priority countries with strong development of social networks, mobile telephony and bandwidth.

Valérie Froger

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