EUGENE, Ore. -- 22-year old University of Oregon senior Sean Thorne admitted he was on his cellphone in his marketing class when he came up with the idea for a new social platform.
“What I saw was a bunch of ads… the cookies that my grandma had just baked. I saw whatever on earth my dad was doing,” Thorne said, thinking back to what had flooded his Facebook and Twitter feeds.
As he was scrolling, he remembered seeing that some of his old high school friends had posted an event.
“College is the best time of my life. What’s most important for a college student? Our college friends and our university,” said Thorne.
Thorne says there currently isn’t a place just for college students online.
That’s when he started developing Hallspot.
“We don’t need students to delete their Facebook,” said Thorne. “Facebook has been doing that for us by having ads, by having irrelevant content. Students only find about 15% of their Facebook content relevant.”
Thorne said Facebook has publicly admitted that usage among college students is down.
Hallspot is a new social media app for college students only. When it launches, Hallspot will feature a “Happening Now” tab where students will be able to pinpoint their locations on a map with a short message of what they are doing, and will be able to post a picture with an attached location.
To use Hallspot, you’ll have to register with a university-given “.edu” email. Users can also control their followers, similar to Twitter.
In the next couple years, Thorne and his team hope to boast features like a college-specific Craigslist, Yelp, social forum and more detailed events sharing.
When asked what sets Hallspot apart, Thorne said, “It’s Friday night around 6 p.m. You pull up Hallspot, you see at this moment the best, three trendy places are Location A, B and C.”
Based on how many people “spot” themselves and post pictures, Thorne says you’ll be able to decide if you would like to go to A, B or C.
During Hallspot’s focus groups, college students said they felt disappointed when they are left out of an event. Thorne calls this phenomenon F.O.M.O., or fear of missing out.
“If I’m at Location A and my friends are at Location B. I want to be prepared that if B is better than my spot, I want to know I can head there right now.”
Hallspot is set to launch September 27 and is free. Thorne says a number of University of Oregon students already pre-registered. Thorne added that students shouldn't worry about professors and staff, they will be blocked.