The Next Big Thing In Social Media: Beacon
Three Babson undergraduates – Will Battel, Ben Ventura, Youcef Ziad – are developing the next big thing in social media: “Beacon, the app that’s changing the way we interact with the people around us. Start by activating your very own beacon to see your nearby friends. Want to check another location? Drag and drop additional beacons onto the map and see who’s there. When you’re on the move, you can enable notifications that help you connect with friends near you when you otherwise would have missed them.
Our original inspiration for this app was to create a platform that would allow the user to get a notification when they were in the general vicinity of other friends who had the app. This would solve the problem of missing other friends at big venues such as concerts, festivals, or parades because you were not aware that they were there. We often go to these events and don’t realize that other friends (or social media friends) were there, until afterwards when they post something on social media. With this little bit of inspiration, our app has grown into much more than we originally intended, and now can be relevant in everyday life such as who’s at the dining hall, who’s at what party, and much more.
Using Facebook integration, Beacon allows you to add friends who have the app, or invite those who don’t. If you want to meet new people however, you can go public where everyone who’s public can see you, and you set the age and gender restraints and you get a feed of people who are around you. Once you click on their profile, you get their name, pictures, bio, and ability to message them. If you want to know if people are somewhere ahead of time, for example you’re going on vacation and want to see if anyone you know is there or anyone you’d be interested in meeting up with, you can place a beacon in that location and it allows you to view who’s there. Also, once you register, you’ll be asked to choose a couple of interests which will later benefit you. You’ll have a promotions feed on a separate tab right next to your contacts, and using your interests you’ll have a sorted feed of stores in the area offering coupons or promotions so you’ll never have ads or pop ups but if you go to Newbury Street for example and you picked fashion as an interest, you’d get promotions from clothing stores and such on your feed. That’s the initial app we’re releasing but we have a lot of cool features going into updates as well, some of which include allowing you to place a beacon of where an event will be ahead of time in order for people to see it whether it be a party, fundraiser, etc.”