WAYN to tackle Twitter with major overhaul

Travel networking site, WAYN, is undergoing a major relaunch in an effort to muscle in on Twitter‘s monopoly on microblogging.

WAYN, which stands for Where Are You Now?, aims to tap a niche it feels is not represented by the social networking heavyweights - letting users share their future plans and aspirations.The strategy is that while FriendsReunited connected people with their past and the likes of Facebook and Twitter are about the present, so WAYN would cater for future intentions.

Peter Ward, who founded the site four year ago, told The Telegraph: “The idea is that you can effectively plan what you are up for doing in the future. So you can talk about what you are doing this evening or that you are up for going snow boarding or up for learning a language. It will be a micro blogging platform like Twitter but it’s not about what you are doing now.

“From a social networking paradigm, if you know that one of your friends is up for going to Brazil in July, you might want to join them, give them tips or put them in touch with friends. There’s a lot more reason for engagement.”

The sit will undergo a major overhaul that aims to make it more user-friendly in an effort to boost its members from its current 15 million.

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WAYN will not have a monopoly on people’s future plans as the likes of Twitter and Facebook are widely used already for publishing future events. However these invites are usually restricted to known groups of friends and so prevent the socialising with like-minded strangers that WAYN promotes.

The site’s Achilles heel is that the average person does not travel all the time, so it aims to broaden its reach beyond travel.

WAYN’s investors include Lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman and Esprit Capital Partners.

Mr Hoberman, the company’s chairman, said: “It’s definitely the right time to do it. We are starting to see these sort of things [microblogging] get more mainstream. In the past the main concern you would have was privacy, but that’s an old way of thinking as people are clearly happy about publishing huge amounts about their lives.

“That said it is going to be very hard to do well. Twitter is a very simple idea and relatively easy to execute. WAYN’s ‘Plans’ is a very good idea but it will be more difficult to execute.”

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