Glimr Inc., a mobile application company founded by UCSB alumnus David Estrada, debuted a new app called Together last Friday, Feb. 21, targeting the UCSB student population exclusively.
The app aims to connect students with nearby app users by matching them based on their interests. Like many social networking apps, Together allows you to setup a profile, post statuses and pictures and check-in to your location, but with the added bonus of chatting with people in the area. In fact, users can chat freely with anyone without ever having to expose any personal information; also, first-time users will be able to sign in directly with Facebook. Glimr plans to launch Together first at UCSB and then expand to other colleges one-by-one, until the app is made entirely public.
Estrada, who graduated UCSB in 1990 with a B.A. in political science, spent time working for Google, Yahoo and YouTube before founding Glimr Inc. He first came up with the idea for Together during his time at UCSB, where despite being active in the rowing team and helping establish the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, he had difficulty meeting and connecting with new people hanging around different places in the area.
“While at UCSB, I was always looking for ways to be connected with people. But one thing that was always difficult was just being in a place on campus or around I.V. and meeting new people at that place right then and there,” Estrada said. “Even today, there is not a single service that is great at helping students do this.”
Scott Delly, a programmer at Glimr, said other apps simply did not fill the need for meeting similar people, as the closest thing yet are only dating apps.
“Dating apps like Tinder provide a weak solution where you can meet people that look good to you for dating,” Delly said. “We wanted something more.”
According to Delly, UCSB is the ideal place to launch Together, given college students’ openness to expanding their social horizons.
“Students in college are used to meeting new people, and striking up conversations with strangers all the time,” Delly said. “Since our app encourages users to do just that, we feel college students will have an easy time using it, and it will still be useful to them.”
Estrada said he believes Together could be very useful for students in I.V. who want to search for people with similar interests and find where they are hanging out at.
“Imagine showing up outside a party on DP and wondering who is here,” Estrada said. “Just open the Together app, see photos and names of people you are matched with who happen to be there and decide whether this is the place for you.”
Estrada says that the Together app will use a special formula to link users up with each other based on common interests in a wide variety of topics.
“We take into account things like bands, actors, sports and clubs to make the best people rise to the top of your matches list,” Estrada said. “Like reading, running or rhyming? Anything you can think of — Together has you covered.”
While many social networking sites, such as Facebook, are known to sell peoples’ private information, Estrada assures users that potential user information will be kept safe.
“We value your trust and take privacy seriously,” Estrada said, “We’ll never sell your personal information.”