BEIRUT: Wango, which is short for "Wana-go", has been viewed by its users as Tinder's more well-bread, tailored younger brother. With a gentlemen's code to be abided by from its male users, Wango's CEO Julian Smida, describes the app as being "a safe haven for both sexes to engage in a conversation without the tagline of a one night stand temporary hanging in the midst of its opening chats."
The beauty of Wango – other than it being a Lebanese based application – is that it forces upon an ecosystem of respectfulness, safety and comfort for users, with a focus on women. Each man on the app starts off possessing a gentleman's badge which showcases his manners and respect towards the opposite sex; but female users have the ability to rip that badge right off by simply reporting that user to be ill-mannered or disrespectful towards them.
The badge would be removed the first time for a temporary period of a week, close to a probation period, and during that week each user that doesn't have the said badge stuck on his profile will indicate to potential "matchers" that the person has had a history of disrespect with other female compatriots.
"Wango is the first and only dating App designed from a woman's perspective with a unique Gentleman's touch which finally gives ladies the opportunity to browse for the man they might prefer while men are obligated to adhere to a Gentleman's Code of Conduct," Smida added.
After a week, the badge would be restored but this time if the user should be reported by another two women than he will be forever known on the app as being the ill-mannered person that he portrays himself to be on the platform.
Wango offers much more than the simple mechanical rhythm of a purely matching and un-matching system, the app also offers a list of conversation starters which would allow the chat between users to have meaning instead of falling in the sole realm of physical attraction.
"The conversational ice breakers we offer in Wango lets the dialogue have a sort of taste, keeping it interesting for both the sexes while directing the conversation between both matchers to develop a sort of connection," Smida told Annahar.
Wango's mechanics are similar to those of Tinder's, with a simple picture preview with interest at the bottom which are all synced in from their personal Facebook account. However, a hefty feature of the app is its ability to indicate when both parties have a strong match depending mutual attraction. Wango will then suggest a date through the pop-up "Wango for Coffee?" If both accept, the app will pick a spot based on both parties' locations via GPS and suggest a date and time for the first date which can later be manually adjusted.
When asked how the app will generate revenue, Smida said that "through the advertisements of the restaurants, coffee houses and pubs that would want to post on the app for potential meet-ups of Wango users."
The app's founder said that browsing on the App is anonymous, ensuring that friends and relatives are unable to see each other on the platform.
Women want to feel safe and be respected and men want a platform where they can prove that being a chivalrous gentleman has not died out. "By understanding what women want, Wango is able to deliver a solution that embraces what really matters: manners, respect and safety while not even giving away each other's phone numbers."
Recently, dating apps have breached the conservative spectrum of age old process of boy meets girl in the Middle East gaining a sudden popularity within the youths of the Arab World and especially those of Lebanon such as the widely known dating app called "Tinder."
Wango can be found on both iOS and Android App Stores.
As a result of the BDLA16 conference, and the intense interest exhibited in local startups, Annahar will soon launch "Startup City," a branded column featuring series of the hundreds of early stage businesses in Beirut, and what they represent as to the talent and optimistic business plans of local young tech workers. Send your nominations to: Startup.firstname.lastname@example.org
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