WAYN (website)

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WAYN (an acronym for Where Are You Now?) is a social travel network.[1] Its goal is to help discover where to go and what to do, meet like-minded people and share aspirations and experiences. WAYN is in the top 4800[2] in Alexa Internet traffic ranking and was founded in 2002 after two of its founders came up with the idea to connect people based on their location while having a few beers in their local pub. It grew from 45,000 to 4.1 million members in one year (to April 2006) and now has over 22 million users.[3] Like some other social networking sites, WAYN enables its users to create a profile and upload photos. Users can search for other users and link them to their profiles as friends. Registered users send and receive messages using email, discussion forums, eCards, SMS, and instant messages and Q&A. WAYN was voted best community site at the Website of the Year Awards in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 [4] It was also named as one of the top 100 Global Companies to watch at the AlwaysOne Global Watch List.[5]

History[edit]

WAYN was founded in 2002 in London by Jérome Touze (Co-CEO), Peter Ward (Co-CEO) and Mike Lines (CTO). WAYN initially grew through word-of-mouth and reached almost 50,000 members by the end of 2004. Following its relaunch in May 2005 it grew exponentially, reaching over 2.5 million members by the end of 2005. On 26 March 2012 the site claimed "over 19.1m members".[3] The business started with initial seed funding in 2003 from the original founder of Friends Reunited.[6] In 2006, the WAYN Founders managed to complete a Series A Fund Raising of $11 million from DFJ Esprit and attracting famous internet entrepreneurs such as Brent Hoberman (ex founder of lastminute.com), Hugo Burge (CEO of cheapflights.co.uk), Adrian Critchlow and Andy Phillips (ex founders of Active Hotels) and Constant Tedder (ex CEO of Jagex, an online gaming company) and was referred to at the time as the 'MySpace of Travel'.[7] Today, the site claims over 22 million users.[6]

Description of the Service[edit]

WAYN allows its members to discover Where to go next by providing a Destination Browsing service. WAYN members can interact with each other and ask questions on the destinations through a Questions & Answers service. The site also provides Social Opinions which is now generating over 25,000 opinions daily and up to 5,000 new registered users daily.[8] In 2015, WAYN has announced major strategic partnerships with Booking.com to offer hotels booking to its users [9] as well as Viator to offer tours and activities booking.[8] Users can register for free or even link their Facebook accounts to register to the WAYN platform. WAYN.com also allows its users to post photos from their trips. The site claims 29 million travel photos and over 30,000 pictures are added to the site every day and generates over 100 million visitors annually.[10]

Contact Import[edit]

Like many other social media sites, WAYN encourages its users to invite their friends which in turn leads to the contacts of the members to receive an invitation to join. In 2006, some members have vented their frustration claiming they were not aware that an invitation would be sent to their contacts.[11] The company acknowledged that this process could be improved and has since changed the way in which these invitations get generated and has also signed up with Return Path, one of the few white listing companies in the world which certifies Emails Best Practice.[12]

Popularity[edit]

WAYN claims to house user data for over 22 million users in 193 different countries.[13] In the UK, WAYN has over 2 million members. 50% of traffic is from the top 10 geographies which include India, USA, UK, Spain, Italy and Canada. WAYN cites over 100 million visits annually and over 7 million monthly visits.

Monetisation[edit]

WAYN.com commercialises its website through advertising and integrated brand engagement solutions. The site also offers a membership service (VIP) for those users who wish to get access to travel and lifestyle benefits. More recently, the site launched a travel booking service for users to book their hotels and tours globally.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]