Though just released in the App Store, Wuu has been in a high-demand, closed beta for months. Invited users could invite their friends and that pass along quickly pushed the app to the 2,000 person limit imposed on pre-release iOS apps. This is great for working through the kinks of creating a new app, but to us, it’s a good sign for the future of social media given that Wuu’s ethos is all about creative expression in the interest of sharing love without the worry of being seen. “A lot of the reason social media makes us feel unhappy is that you feel like you’re losing because someone always has more likes than you,” says the app’s creator, Vermont resident and serial entrepreneur, Paul Budnitz.
Wuu is simple—when you launch the app you see a feed of photos, videos and text made with clever filters and bold colors. These Wuus, as they’re called, are sent directly to you and can be acknowledged with a reply Wuu or simply an Emoji response. After 24 hours, each Wuu fades from the app and is deleted from Wuu’s servers. Creating a Wuu is a matter of writing some text and/or adding a photo or video and swiping to layer in colors or filters. Some text can trigger surprises in your feed, designed to make you laugh or smile. During our testing we found Wuu to be fast and fun with fewer steps needed to make something that looks great.
Budnitz is the founder of creative network Ello and created Wuu “because I want to communicate with my friends and wife in a certain way and it’s fun to get to a place in your career where you can be defiant.” Though Wuu’s interface and aesthetic is very different from Snapchat, its temporal nature and lack of statistics are comparable. “I admire that Snapchat is worth $20 billion and keeps doing crazy shit,” Budnitz says, but at the same time he feels “there’s a place for a network that’s smaller and more specific.”
Though Wuu is live in the App Store now, access to it will remain invite-only. Of course this will help the fledgeling app scale in a controlled manner, but the social value is to ensure that you never show up to the experience without knowing at least one other person there.
Screenshots from Wuu App