This year, Facebook celebrated its tenth anniversary since it’s conception in February 2004. A decade has rolled by and with it, smartphone applications, including social media applications, have achieved notoriety, making young computer geeks into internet moguls and college dorm room start-ups into multi-billion dollar, global companies.
One application company has opted to roll back to the roots of Facebook while engaging with social interest in dating applications. The application, Friendsy, launched at Colorado College at the start of this semester and has already developed traction on campus.
Friendsy, an application donning a cutesy name in Pinterest’s cursive typeset, has accrued over 10,000 downloads since its launch in May 2013. Two Princeton students, Vaidhy Murti and Michael Pinsky, founded the network, which connects users with one another inside of their college.
This ‘.edu-restricted network’ enables users to chat and meet one another on a friendly, romantic, or hook-up basis. Further, the application is school-specific and offers anonymity for students interested in connecting with other students.
The application prides itself in its ability to hold users accountable for what they say by moderating the content the users put out. In order for students to use the application, their college must be registered with the network and if their college has not yet joined, individuals may register on the Friendsy waitlist that engages the network with the potential interest at the school.
Friendsy has touched down on about 40 college campuses, including Colorado College. Junior Ryan Lach is Colorado College’s student representative. Lach was approached by one of his friends from home, who happens to be one of the Friendsy co-founders.
Lach began promoting the application through his Facebook account, and by the first week of school, he estimates that 70 students from Colorado College downloaded the application. The application’s growth lies in student interest; if it succeeds, it is because the student body sees its purpose and chooses to engage with it.
“It is the standard social network where you need people on it to make it great,” Lach said. “At the very least, it is a way to meet and connect with people regardless of which button you initially press.”
The application includes an anonymous compliment system called ‘Murmurs,’ which lists compliments on a privatized feed for the college.
“It’s almost a CC Confessions meets Twitter,” said Lach.
The Murmurs component can also be used to spread news, such as where an event on campus or a house party is being held.
Friendsy monitors anonymous posts, but students can also choose to disclose their name, which holds users accountable for the content they post. Users develop a snapshot profile that includes age, year, interests, and photos—this information component, in addition to the exclusivity of the network, seems to distinguish the application from peer applications like Tinder and Grinder.
Like most current applications, intuitiveness is a key feature so is audience population. “Just give it a try because there’s no ads on it yet, and the more people that are on it, the better it works,” said Lach.