SnapChat-esque app connects students to peers and campus community
Two students at the University of Texas have developed a SnapChat-inspired app that is designed to help their peers better transition and settle into college life.
According to a report from CultureMap Houston, the Kickit app enables students to interact with one another, and incorporates familiar features to that of the overwhelmingly popular SnapChat app. Kickit is the brainchild of two Houston natives and soon-to-be seniors at the University of Texas, Eric Ngo and Ashar Malik.
Kickit works by enabling students to connect both with each other, and to the community to do things like set up meetings for pick-up sports games, create friend groups, find a study-buddy, or find someone to grab a bite to eat with. The app's developers hope that their creation will make the large university feel a little bit smaller by connecting people with similar interests without a lot of planning.
Events that are created within the app can either be shared privately to individual users, as can be done on SnapChat, or shared completely publicly -- similar to SnapChat's "MyStory" feature -- enabling all Kickit users to be reached.
For Ngo, and likely many other students, there's a deer in the headlights moment when making the transition to college life, and it's only more drastic the larger the university is. “Freshman year, they pamper you," Ngo said in an interview with CultureMap. "Once you become the sophomore, it seems like they just say ‘good luck,’ and forget about you."
For co-developer Malik, a passion for pick-up volleyball -- and subsequently inconsistent attendance -- helped to inspire some of the app's meet-up features. The developers decided to harness the feeling of uncertainty associated with trying to figure out what to do on campus, by having Kickit represent a kind of hub of activity for students to interact with.
The app is available for download for both iPhone and Android. For now, the developers hope to provide the University of Texas community the best experience possible with the app and eventually expand Kickit to other campuses.