It’s been a while since we checked in with WAYN, (Where Are You Now), but the super early player in travel/lifestyle social media has quietly clocked up over 21 million members, in part by sticking to its travel niche religiously. Today its announced a “multi-million dollar” (terms were not disclosed) strategic partnership with India Today Group (ITG), one of the biggest media conglomerates in India, which has access to almost 100 million of India’s educated population, via 38 magazines, four Television channels, seven radio stations, 12 web portals and 56 apps across mobile and tablets. According to some estimates, India has around 137 million users online, so this is not an insignificant deal by any means.
Under the terms of the deal, WAYN will create a co-branded portal with Travel Plus, the travel arm of ITG and provide advertising reach to the group’s clients. ITG in return gets access to WAYN’s community, which hits round 4 million users in India currently. This is not a white-label, deal, but much closer to a co-branded partnership.
The travel portal will display stories, pictures and videos of Travel Plus and allow the users to share them on their WAYN network. The site will also provide all WAYN users in India with specific travel content and deals – significant for a market which is traveling more widely as India’s middle class explodes.
The move follows WAYN’s continued growth, hitting over 21 million users after they signed deals with Indonesian Tourism, Airbnb, London and Partners and a renewed joint marketing agreement with South Africa Tourism, among others.
WAYN.com co-Founder Jerome Touze says the Asia-Pacific region now houses more wealthy people than of Europe so he is “excited to tap into this market”. Makes sense.
Certainly, it’s clear that while hot travel startups like GoGoBot are punching the numbers in mobile, we understand WAYN’s 21m strong community is poised to hit mobile platforms in the new year with new apps.