If you ever find yourself abroad in an unfamiliar city, a little bit bored, and looking for something totally different to do, then Alban Sayag knows exactly how you feel.
Sitting in a restaurant with friends one evening, the French entrepreneur was wondering where the evening might take them next. He knew the information was online, fluttering around on social media – gallery openings, concerts, exhibitions, and clubs – but actually finding it without knowing precisely where to look was a different story. That was where his idea for WINGiT came from, an app that analyses millions of posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media to find out exactly what is happening all around you, wherever you may be travelling.
He told Lonely Planet: “I told myself we would need an app that uncovers in real time all the events happening now around me, in order to keep on [enjoying] that night. I realised that this information existed on the social media sites but that it was almost impossible to find it … especially at the right time and when we needed it.”
His company developed a crawler technology that analyses the language of social media to distil all the noise into a logical diary of events. “We are currently in eight countries and 51 cities,” said Sayag, “but will be available in 100 cities this summer and over 150 by the end of the year. WINGiT unearths in real time all the event posted on social networks by locals: art gallery openings, concerts, theatre, etc … it detects the coolest, most suitable stuff for the user.”
The events it finds can then be tailored according to day and category, the specific tastes of the traveller, and how near or far the event is. Among the cities currently covered are New York, Paris, Dublin, London, Sydney and Tel Aviv with many others across the US, France, UK, Ireland and further afield.