Greg Isenberg has seen how apps grow.
That is why he is at the University of Alabama Islands, along with his new program. It’s already the hot thing as students start courses for the fall 2017 semester.
“Who wishes to meet people the most? It’s folks at school. College is your single biggest time for self-discovery. You’re determining if you like X or Y,” Isenberg said via FaceTime since he strolled the Alabama campus.
Like most appsthink Tinder, Yik Yak, and even Facebook–Islands is expecting to take advantage of college students’ character. Islands offers a simple way to make groups and profiles and make programs.
It’s already active at University of Florida, University of Georgia, Auburn University, Clemson University, College of Charleston, University of South Carolina, and University of Alabama. Since classes began over 25 percent of Alabama’s freshmen class has asked to join. The program is still in beta mode, meaning not everyone is able to download and register up.
It does not have to be, although none of this is revolutionary.
“I don’t need to live in the world where Facebook Groups is the end all be all,” said Isenberg said. “The Snapchat generation doesn’t need social media posts on Facebook. We need a way to connect with those around us in an interesting and in a beautiful way.”
28, Isenberg, is quite familiar with constructing beautiful products. He gained attention with his first startup. He afterwards founded 5by, a movie discovery program he sold to StumbleUpon.
The entrepreneur is focused on Islands. He just increased $1.85 million from many investors, including Greylock, entrepreneur Scott Belsky, and Vaizra Investments, to increase the program from a small number of college campuses to greater than 75 at the end of 2018. The competition out of Microsoft’s GroupMe Facebook, along with other social networks is clear, but Isenberg expects he can succeed by creating something.
Isenberg nicknames his new program “Slack for College,” where students can easily communicate via one program. Groups organized by topic are called “Islands” and therefore are shown within 5 miles of this campus.
Groups can be from celebrations to basketball matches.
That location-based function is comparable to Yik Yak, the now-defunct messaging program that also rose to fame on school campuses. That is not surprising given that the group of Isenberg consists of Yik Yak employees. He recruited employees at 5by and Twitter, who now work out of an office in San Francisco.
Unlike Yik Yak, Islands is not all anonymous. Yik Yak has been plagued by bomb threats and bullying due to complete anonymity in part leading to its downfall. By linking to their own media accounts, their own profiles can be authenticated by Island users.
“We encourage Facebook log-in but, that being said, you could create an Island that is anonymous. People don’t use it anonymously, but it is mostly with names,” Isenberg said.
About half of this app’s current users link for Snapchat accounts or even their Instagram. It’s not about authenticity.
“A big feedback that we have is that people desire more followers in their own platforms, and folks are frightened to go up to their classmates and say, ‘Hey what’s your Instagram handle, and what’s your Snapchat? ”” Isenberg said.
Isenberg said after he met a woman in Los Angeles who was diagnosed with 21, that he got the idea for Islands. She was a part of a support group. He believed there has to be a way to meet and speak with people.
That idea become Islands. He is currently promoting the program on school campuses by hiring new ambassadors. That is a growth approach by relationship apps Tinder and Bumble along with Yik Yak invoked. Snapchat and Facebook also climbed to prominence via students.
The group produced a accessory and clothing line, designed by Skrillex’s fashion brand Owsla, in the hopes of getting more focus for the program.
As he develops Islands to a network for students Isenberg personally was traveling to college campuses. This past year he lived around the University of Western Ontario session.
“It’s literally where McDonalds analyzed McNuggets,” Isenberg said. “I embedded myself there, had a lot of crazy realizations. You could go up to any college student and learn that they all use Snapchat, Instagram, and GroupMe as their top few apps.”
Islands is a rival to GroupMe on account of the attention that is messaging. However, Isenberg said he needs it to be heralded for discovery of people and of occasions.
“What makes me happiest is when I connect people, either during dinner parties or just introducing folks or whatever it is. I’m so excited about Islands is we’re in a position to do it on a mass scale. Like right now, there are people playing basketball because people,” Isenberg said.
Read more: http://mashable.com/