Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, VSCO, LinkedIn — the social media landscape is getting bigger and more overwhelming than ever.
That’s where Dime comes in: a new app made by a group of students, including one at Western.
The app’s home page is split into two parts. One section shows every app user nearby you and categorizes them into “casual” and “network” pages for making personal or professional connections. It’s designed to compartmentalize the relationships you make in university, so you can look to make friends or form business relationships with ease.
Only available at Western and Waterloo University, all the app's content and people stem from either of the two campuses.
Also on the home page is a feature rare in other apps — profile cards with links to all your other social media profiles, including Instagram and Snapchat. While Dime aims to digitize your college social experience, they don’t plan on competing with other platforms on every front.
One tap away is a feed of Western-specific memes and posts created by students. Like Instagram, users can interact with the post by liking or commenting, and similar to LinkedIn, users can see each other’s profiles to view recent activity. One user posted, “I love that people are posting memes on here. This is like a softer version of Reddit.”
“We’re trying to combine features from Reddit, LinkedIn, club events from Facebook, even some aspects of Tinder and really bring those features into one app,” said Namra Patel, who designed the app. “But we’re not meant to be a messaging app. So once you actually connect with someone, you can get off Dime and message them on Snapchat, for instance.”
Patel, a second-year computer science student, co-developed Dime with students at the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary and Waterloo. The app was released on Sept. 10.
“It started out as a financial product for roommates who wanted to split bills or for crowdfunding,” said Patel. “This became our pivot, and it amalgamated to something that can create a better university experience for everybody on campus.”
Patel first started testing his app development skills three years ago, but after concluding his first year at Western, he decided to pool his resources, connections and knowledge to make something concrete. After linking with tech-savvy friends across Canada, Dime launched at Waterloo and completed a soft launch here at Western. Patel said during its first 10 days of operation, the app racked up around 2,600 users.
Dime is currently available for iOS and Android users.