WAYN (website)

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WAYN (an acronym for Where Are You Now?) is a social travel network.[1] Its stated goal is to help discover where to go and meet like-minded people. WAYN was founded in 2002 and after years of slow growth saw its membership multiply from 45,000 to 4.1 million members in one year following a relaunch in May 2005. In 2015 it claims to have over 20 million users.[2] 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.

History[edit]

WAYN was founded in 2002 in London by Jérome Touze (Co-CEO), Peter Ward (Co-CEO) and Mike Lines (CTO), after two of them came up with the idea to connect people based on their location while having a few beers in their local pub. 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.[4] 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'.[5] In 2015 the site claims to have over 20 million users.[2] WAYN was voted best community site at the Website of the Year Awards in 2007, 2008 and through 2010–2014 [6] It was also named as one of the top 100 Global Companies to watch at the AlwaysOn Global Watch List.[7] The site claims to generate over 100 million visitors annually.

Services[edit]

WAYN users may post photos from their trips. Registered users send and receive messages using email, discussion forums, E-cards, SMS, and instant messages and Q&A. WAYN provides a destination browsing service to discover Where to go next and 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 generated over 25,000 opinions daily in 2014.[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 link their Facebook accounts to register to the WAYN platform. 29 million travel photos and over 30,000 pictures are added to the site every day.[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.[1]

Popularity[edit]

WAYN is in the top 4800[12] in Alexa Internet traffic ranking and claimed in 2013 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.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]