WiGo, or Who is going out?, is one of the latest in a string of mobile applications aimed at the college demographic.
Following apps like Yik Yak and Snapchat, WiGo is described via the App Store as “the first social networking app that shows college students who at their school is going out and where they’re headed, every single night.”
So what exactly is WiGo and how does it work? WiGo was created to meet the needs of college students, especially at large universities, who are interested in discovering who is going out each night.
After a user chooses to “Go out”, a page offering the different going-out options appears, letting students share with other students where they will be spending the evening: at a particular bar, tailgate, Greek event or house party. Users can create new events and nudge other users they would like to “See out” that night.
Users must register with an .edu email address, placing WiGo firmly in the “for college students only” realm, much like the original Facebook. The app takes from Snapchat the purported element of anonymity, as WiGo wipes itself clean each morning. (Although, as everyone knows, anonymous social media is never anonymous).
The app could, given its rapidly growing popularity, replace the “Event” function of Facebook or even group messaging, at least where parties are concerned. A list of attendees are all in one place, but without the back-and-forth annoyance of messaging and a form of semi-privacy.
A hundred users must be registered on the application with a particular .edu address, like eagles.usm.edu, before that school unlocks on the application and can be used. While The University of Southern Mississippi does have registered users, there are not yet enough for the application to unlock and be used.
The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, meanwhile, have both unlocked WiGo at their campuses, as have over 700 campuses across the country, said founder Ben Kaplan, a former student at The College of the Holy Cross, who dropped out to develop his product, according to USA Today College. The app has proved most popular in the northeastern U.S. and boasts tens of thousands of users.
Emily Stecher, a junior interdisciplinary studies major, expressed guarded interest in WiGo.
“People might not be as willing to try another weird app (after Yik Yak),” Stecher said. “You can actually see your face, so some people might not be as willing to do it.”
As to its popularity, Stecher believes the size of Southern Miss could be detrimental to the success of the app.
“I think we’d get it slower (than other schools), but I think eventually it would catch on. I think it’s cool. I think especially fraternities would like it,” Stecher said.
The app, which has had a fast launch and has seen exponential user growth, is available to download for free.