WAYN, which stands for “Where Are You Now,” is a large social networking website that is focused on lifestyle and travel. The community currently includes more than 17 million members from all over the globe. The application intends to create a place where individuals can meet others with similar goals, interests and intentions. These similarities will spark discussions so that users can share their personal experiences, suggestions and more with the people they meet on WAYN. The user can manage a friends list to keep track of the new people they meet from other cities and countries. After the popularity of WAYN, the creators decided to add a second site dedicated to dating. WAYN members can access the site from the original WAYN homepage. The dating version works a little differently from other websites. Rather than providing compatibility tests, the website encourages interactions through similar interests.
WAYN was founded in 2002 by Peter Ward, Mike Lines and Jerome Touze. The concept was born after Touze and Ward returned from a backpacking tour. After seeing the world, they decided that they needed a simple way to stay in touch with the unique friends they made throughout their journey. The result was WAYN, a social network that includes individuals from many countries.
WAYN doesn’t really stand out in terms of social networking. The application offers many of the features a user would expect. The main appeal really depends on the user’s interests. WAYN is primarily based on lifestyle and travel, so users who travel frequently might appreciate it more than those who do not. Of course the user doesn’t have to travel to use WAYN, but it doesn’t offer anything that can’t already be found on Facebook.
WAYN tries to entice the visitor with vibrant images of exotic beach scenes and bikini clad women. A new user can dive right into the WAYN community using a pair of buttons found at the top center of the page. One provides featured and popular destinations and another reveals featured and popular activities. The user can also add their own activities and destinations. The site has a very appealing tropical feel to it, which keeps the experience lively.
A new visitor can join the WAYN community by filling out the pop up form that appears as soon as they arrive on the homepage. WAYN doesn’t let anyone get away with not signing up. The user is asked to provide their full name, email address, birth day, location and gender. A small blue and white “Connect” button in the lower, right hand corner of the form is available for users who would like to register using their Facebook credentials. A small note at the bottom of the form advises the user that they will begin receiving updates (which can be manually turned off by logging in and updating the user’s settings).
Being a social network, WAYN benefits by having more people signed up. Charging a fee is a good way to discourage new members. WAYN does not charge a subscription fee or other cost. Users can create accounts and log in as often as they like. The experience is entirely free, which is ideal (especially considering how many hugely popular social networks already exist).
WAYN.com is ideal for anyone who travels and meets people frequently. Even those who are relatively stationary can sign up and meet new people on WAYN. The site favors destinations, travel and activities over anything else, so users who prefer a more generic social network may prefer to go with Facebook.