Wayfare Gives You A Pen Pal Right On Your Phone

Show of hands if you had a pen pal at some point during your time in school. Just as I figured, quite a few of you. Wayfare is letting you relive your days of international correspondence with an app that pairs you with someone from the country of your choosing for seven days. An interesting concept, but how well does it work?

Screenshots from WayfareScreenshots from Wayfare

Surprisingly well, actually. The entire layout of the app is well thought out and connecting with someone is a breeze - when you can actually find someone to pair with. Currently the user base is somewhat small, but it is growing every day. It took this writer four or five times to actually connect with a fellow user. Once connected however, Wayfare worked flawlessly. One thing to remember when connecting with fellow users is that this is not an international dating app. When setting up your profile, you do not have any preferences when it comes to connecting with members of a specific sex. Who Wayfare pairs you with is who you get. You can always "Leave the Country" and get paired with a new pen pal, but it's recommended you stay for a week.

Once connected with another user, Wayfare starts you off with a nice ice breaker. Typically, a "mission." For example, the first time I connected with someone, Wayfare suggested we both take pictures of what was outside our window at the time. It was very interesting to see completely different landscapes and towns than what I was traditionally used to seeing. Most missions are photo based and include things like "taking a picture of your favorite beverage," or "My Breakfast." 

One big hurdle that Wayfare had to overcome was the obvious language barriers that are presented when connecting people globally. Luckily, Wayfare includes a translation protocol that works surprisingly well. There are still hiccups, but overall the quality of the translations is spot on.

Wayfare limits you to one message every 20 minutes to enforce "genuine interaction" (and to probably cut down on spam), but this feature sometimes cheapens interactions, causing unnecessary breaks in conversation. It doesn't ruin the mood, but it occasionally lessens the excitement of conversation.

Overall, Wayfare is a pretty amazing app. No other app has gotten me to take pictures and share them with a complete stranger across the world, but it feels pretty good to share my life with others and see what life is like for someone else. If you are looking to reminisce on your pen pal days of yester-year, or are simply looking for a different kind of social experience, Wayfare is worth your time.

Wayfare is available on both Android and iOS.


Source: Wayfare