There are thousands of Facebook users out there who love checking in on other people, but wish they could stay anonymous. Two Barrington residents took this concept and created the newest trend in social media: Winkage.
Winkage is a new smart phone app created by David DeGrazia and Bryant Gourdie. The concept was developed to help people meet new friends or acquaintances through social media without having to expose too much about themselves.
“We kind of said, wouldn’t it be cool if you could interact on our network and none of your information is ever exchanged unless you want to exchange it,” Winkage co-founder David DeGrazia said.
Winkage users can check-in wherever they are much like Four Square and see who else is also checked-in nearby. They can then post photos, start conversations like Facebook and Twitter and interact with anyone within a half-mile radius.
“When you touch the app, it finds where you are GPS wise and shows you the social make-up of the landscape,” DeGrazia said. “You’ll be able to see how many men and women are checked in on the Winkage app at those places."
Users can start public conversations with each other via the ChatterBox. If someone really catches a user's eye, they can send then a “wink,” which is a private one-on-one chat.
“If at any point that person is being abrasive, you can push eject; you can no longer see that profile anymore,” DeGrazia said.
If someone posted a photo, or said something in the ChatterBox that they later regret, DeGrazia says not to worry. Everything gets erased from Winkage daily at 5 a.m.
“[With Winkage] You never have to worry about any remorse or regret,” DeGrazia said.
The duo is focusing their marketing and research efforts on new college students as they explore their life away from the comforts of home.
“We do know that every freshman that enters college is facing the same challenges. They don’t have friends or family nearby. It’s a foreign layout. Winkage helps them make a connection. It’s allowing them to make an exchange, make an acquaintance on their own terms,” DeGrazia said.
DeGrazia and Gourdie started building Winkage a year ago, and just launched the free application last month. They already have more than 200 downloads and a dozen positive reviews. While things are going well for Winkage so far, DeGrazia said they aren’t done growing the business yet and have high hopes for where this application can go.
“It’s going to be a lot of work; I’m not intimidated by that. It might take a year, it might take several months, I don’t know.” He said.
Winkage is available to download for free on iPhone and Android devices. To learn more, head to Winkage.com