1. Web

Wander starts taking the wraps off its super stealth travel site

Wander logoStealth startup Wander has managed to arouse the interest of everyone watching the social-meets-local market, but with little more than a slick looking site, some Foursquare application-inspiration, and a nice tie-in with Web artists, there’s been little to say. But now the application’s about to open up its beta testing round, and starting to offer a glimpse at what it’s all about.

“Our ship is almost ready to set sail,” an email from the service reads. “But first, we ask you to join us for Wander Weeks.” You can now receive prompts within the service, answering location-focused questions. This creates a post, complete with a photo and quick explanation, which then you can just share out to your social networks. You can view other users’ posts as well.

As would be expected from the site’s blog, it has a really nice, eye-pleasing interface. Here’s a quick look at what you expect:

Wander Canyonlands example
Wander Joshua Tree

Wander users postsThe site will presumably launch in 4 weeks, once “Wander Weeks” are up. As much as location and social have intersected recently, there’s still much to be desired from travel applications. Apps like Wanderfly, Where I’ve Been, and Gogobot are fairly engaging but not exactly inspiring. What we need is for Wander to be equal parts practical and beautiful: I want to be peruse other users’ amazing photos and vacations while also being able to efficiently using the site to plot my own. I can tell you what we don’t need: another Grouponesque vacation discount service or an image-heavy application that just delivers you unto TripAdvisor or Kayak.

For now, it’s back to the waiting game. We’ll know soon enough if Wander can pinpoint this narrow but surprisingly untapped segment soon enough.

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