Egypt's Social Media Takes On New Foe: Cairo's Traffic
As King observes, "For those who haven't been to Cairo, traffic may seem like a trifle. But in a sprawling megalopolis with a population approaching 20 million, residents schedule everything from workdays to weddings around traffic jams that stretch for miles and ensnare drivers for hours at a time."
It should be no surprise then that Bey2ollak, "a company whose free crowdsourcing app allows Egyptians to report on and avoid traffic," has beaten out 4,000 other entrants to win a recent competition sponsored by Google to find Egypt's most promising startup business.
"Bey2ollak is based on a very simple insight: that there is always
someone on the street who knows how horrible [traffic] is or how well it
is flowing," says co-founder Gamal el din Sadek. "It's always been
one-to-one communication, but the information is relevant to everyone.
We created a community that is one-to-many."
"The app uses casual, funny language that appeals to young users who choose from a list of options like 'sweet,' to indicate traffic is light or 'no hope,' which means stay off the roads at all costs. And Bey2ollak has found another niche in post-revolution Egypt, where protests and marches are frequent.: Users can alert travelers-and be alerted-to 'khattar' or 'danger' if protesters and security forces are clashing in the streets."