The Daily Illini

Chirp app encourages a balanced social life

Zihan Wang

Zihan Wang

By Zihan Wang, Staff Writer

Many students may cite their busy schedules as the leading challenge to making plans with friends in college. A group of University students is trying to combat that by developing a new social media app, Chirp.

The app, the testing version was launched Thursday, is specifically designed to help students schedule events in advance according to their schedules and to better engage with their friends.

Kanko Yan, Engineering alumnus and developer of Chirp, said in an email the most competitive part of the app is the offline social value it could bring with just one click on the “create my post” button.

“After (you’ve) finished writing your plan and time and push submit, you just need (to look) for someone who is also free at that time to (Direct Message) you,” he said.

William Sheung, senior in Business and developer of Chirp, said Chirp aims to incorporate potential improvements to the current social media industry.

“From user experience perspective or from a technical perspective, and some of the functional perspective, I want something, but I don’t see it, so we pretty much set our mission to realize these sorts of unrealized goals,” Sheung said.

Maggie Zhang, graduate student in Business, was a test-user of Chirp for a year.

“This is a really convenient social app to connect you to your friends circle. It’s definitely for people who like to socialize and constantly catch up with different friends,” she said in an email.

Zhang said the app provides more privacy to users compared to other social media apps.

Sheung said they don’t have a certain idea for the future, and they are focusing on releasing the application to University students on campus for now.

“I feel that for a lot of product development people, one (of) the most common fallacies is that they try to appeal to multiple interest groups demographics,” he said.

Anton Ivanov, faculty member in Business, teaches a class on social media strategy. He said one of the main advantages of Chirp is to not only effectively plan the day, but also helps students plan things in advance.

Ivanov said early start-up companies in the social application area should focus on the number of active users, not only targeting on the number of overall users.

“If you have a great idea, and this idea is interesting, you really need to understand what’s your competitive edge; why you would be successful in the long run,” he said.

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