We all know the problem. You want to plan that big night out with friends so you ping them on your mobile messaging apps of choice, SMS, and, if you’re old, maybe Facebook or email. Then the responses come in. Some of your friends are up for it, while others suggest a different time and date. The trick then becomes finding a happy middle ground where all or most of the group can make it (or at least the friends who you really want to be there).
Aiming to remove some of that friction is a neat iOS app called WePopp. It promises to do one thing only, and do it well: Help you plan events with friends in just a few taps with a simple way to poll the group to find a date, time and place that suits everybody.
The way the app works is simple:
As the event organiser, you first pick what you want to do from a list of pre-defined categories, such as go for a drink, meal, a party, or take a weekend trip.
Next you fill out further details, including — crucially — up to three preferred dates and times.
Then you invite your friends to join your “popp,” from which they are asked to vote on the time and place, as well as suggest any other changes to the itinerary via the app’s messaging functionality.
Finally, you select the chosen date, time and destination, asking everybody to confirm once and for all if they are in or out.
One other clever aspect of the WePopp app is that it doesn’t require everybody in the group to be a user. If you are sans-WePopp, you can still be included in a “popp” by being notified by SMS and asked to respond/vote via a browser-based version. The final event details are then also sent as an SMS notification.
Now, admittedly, WePopp is far from the only startup to be tackling the problem of organising a get-together with friends. Competitors could be seen to include Doodle, although something like Rundavoo comes a lot closer. There’s also Facebook’s event-planning functionality.
Interestingly, WePopp is already iOS 7-ready in terms of its ‘flat’ design, which isn’t going to be to everybody’s taste (can we say flat fatigue yet?), but it looks pretty nice to my eyes.
The French startup behind the app, also called WePopp, is self-funded aside from the €4,500 given by Google as part of going through the French accelerator Le Camping.
It plans to make money from the app via affiliate marketing and in the near future offers from partners it’s already signed deals with. This includes a partnership with lafourchette (the OpenTable of France).
“When you plan on going to a restaurant, we will be able to help you pick and choose which restaurant you and your friends will book based on your location and table availabilities,” says co-founder and CEO of WePopp Julien Hobeika. “If you book a table on our application, we get a commission from lafourchette.”