These days, seemingly everyone go to work, school, and other places with a GPS tracker in their pocket. Many people use their phones to connect with friends over social-media, but it can be the location-tracker can be useful as a way to meet strangers, as well. One such service for connecting strangers based on location is London-based mnation, which has attracted 100K users since it officially launched in June 2013 and managed to do so without any outside funding.
Interestingly, mnation is a web-based service, as opposed to an app. Users can access it by visiting the company’s mobile site on their phones or by using a QR code (also on the site). Users are required to create an account to be able to find nearby friends, chat with strangers, find local businesses (and review them), and rack up points by visiting locations (which they can then exchange for goods/services).
CEO and co-founder Hasan Syed tells me that the service is completely free and that they do not require users to view ads. They are currently exploring ways to monetize the service, such “non-traditional” promotion of businesses to users who seek a paid-version, but these ideas are currently at the beta stage. Mnation is exclusively available in English, but they are also currently developing versions of the site in other languages.
They are not the first ones in this market, as Foursquare and Find My Friends! have both attracted millions of users to services allowing you to see where your friends have been and where they might be at the moment. However, Mnation serves a dual function of connecting you with those you know and those with whom you might have something in common if you have an opportunity to meet.