YB Tracking, an Iridium partner and manufacturer of the handheld YB3 and fixed installation YB3i boat tracking and satellite communication systems, has taken the unique step of making Facebook posting and sending Tweets free. The move, which takes effect from 1st November 2015, means boat owners, guests and crew can update friends and families using the most popular social media sites when cruising anywhere in the world, without worrying about the cost.
Primarily designed as a sophisticated boat tracking systems, YB3/YB3i’s two-way messaging functionality provide significant added value, which has been boosted further by being the only maritime satcom system to offer free Facebook posts and Tweets. Both YB3 and YB3i allow for multiple connections over Bluetooth in parallel to core boat tracking functionality, so everyone on board can communicate on Facebook and Twitter using their own smartphones and tablets. Social Media messages are sent via YB Tracking’s easy-to-use YB-Connect app, available for Apple and Android devices, which can also send emails and SMS for as little as 4p per message.
YB3i is the latest addition to YB Tracking’s boat tracking technology range. Lightweight and at 13cm, very compact, it transmits GPS position data on a user-defined schedule and text-based messages from anywhere in the world via Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD). It can automatically switch to GSM services when in range, allowing even lower cost transfer of tracking information and text messages. With no requirement for an annual contract, YB3i, like its handheld stablemate YB3, is ideal for seasonal boating and can even be used to provide location updates when a yacht is on a transport ship. Users only pay for the months the system is in use and pre-purchased credits to send and receive messages, and transmit tracking positions. One month’s YB3/YB3i activations costs just £8.
Communication flexibility is a key aspect of both YB3 and YB3i. In addition to email, SMS and free posting/messaging on Facebook and Twitter, the free YB Tracking YBlog allows yacht owners to show their route and current position on a dedicated web page. Several routes can be created to keep track of each trip, and diary entries can be uploaded using YB3 or YB3i. A yacht’s YBlog has its own web address so can be viewed by anyone and be embedded into other websites.
“With the introduction of free core social media messaging, minimal monthly charges and very cheap texts and emails, YB3 and YB3i are the most cost-effective way to stay connected when cruising. They make communicating simple and we hope our customers will take advantage of free Facebook posts and Tweets, whilst still enjoying the safety and security benefits of highly accurate and reliable global boat tracking,” said Nick Farrell, Director, YB Tracking.