Meet Wander, the hero app that could save our social life

Meet Wander, the hero app that could save our social life

Channel surfing

Text: Amelia Chia

Keen to have a meaningful conversation with someone? Here’s how you can make your next move

Finding a personal connection in the fast-paced, likes-based social media world we live in isn't always easy. For the most part, we spend our days on Facebook and Instagram casually scrolling through our feeds, sending likes and comments in the direction of photos, articles and inspirational quotes. How much of what we hit like for actually mean something to us? Probably a small percentage. Which of these leave a lasting impression on us? A handful. What are our motivations behind each like? Cue Black Mirror Season 3, Episode 1: Nosedive.

It was exactly this lack of personal connection on social media that inspired tech entrepreneur Krystal Choo to launch Wander, an app which allows groups of like-minded people to join in a conversation on a topic they care about. All you have to do is start a channel, or join a subject channel that appeals to you — and expect to be part of a great conversation. Each channel can be flicked public or private, and users are able to express themselves through photos, GIFs and even polls.

"Wander is really an effort to use the power of technology to serve our most human needs. One of these is connections," explains Choo. "Over time, I noticed a pattern of people being more isolated, unhappy and lonely. It's not because they don't have friends. It's because people evolve in different directions, and when the people around us don't share that common ground, we feel like we don't belong."

There's no discrimination on Wander — no matter age, gender, race or religion, everyone is welcome to use the platform and there's no focus on profiles or number of followers. From channels such as #randomramblings, #divorcees and #gratitude, there's a certain honesty,  open-mindedness and supportiveness in each chat group. In its first couple of weeks, Choo noticed a steady 20% growth per week, with users spending anything from 20 to 50 minutes daily on the app.  

Choo has made Wander available worldwide, and the savvy Singaporean believes that the app can also be used by companies or community groups to discuss events, support causes or build businesses. With its colourful, easy-to-use interface, it's almost your own personal forum, where you're the boss of deciding which channels mean something to your life.

The best part of it all? The ability to take it offline, if the group is ready for it, and to expand your active friendship circle.

Choo sums it all up: "Wander is where you find the friends you haven't met yet. The friends for all your unique sides and the place for all your unique tribes. We've already lost the ability and platforms to truly connect. Wander is my effort at bringing that back, and all the benefits that come with communities and people who talk with each other as people."

To learn more about Wander, click here.
Wander is available for download on the Apple Store or on Google Play