What if you could see what's happening at a party before you arrive?
New app shows you pictures and lets you know who's checked in.
Ever step into a highly anticipated party and realize it’s a dud? Or maybe you decide to stay in on a cold, rainy Saturday night, only to be overcome with a bad case of FOMO – you know, the fear of missing out? Now there’s a new app called Akross that puts all the best parties in one place, and lets you know who’s actually there, in real time.
The free app is being developed by a company in Israel called Orca, which was founded by Asaf Shema and Tomer Sasson, young entrepreneurs in the coastal city of Tel Aviv. The app will map activities, parties and events across college campuses and throughout your immediate community. In a similar way that Waze uses crowdsourced information to improve the driving experience, Akross will help college students navigate the social scene on campus.
Here's how it works: Organizers will be able to post an event, which will then be added onto the map. Users can see the events closest to them or in a specific area they want to go to and RSVP to the guest list. When a user arrives at an event, the app will use location-based technology to automatically check them in. Other users will be able to see who’s at the party, as well as stats like the male-to-female ratio and any pictures posted of the event.
“What we want to do is show people what’s going on, and better inform them about where they should be,” Akross Marketing Director Denisse Dubrovsky told From the Grapevine.
Organizers will also be able to create private events. For example, a fraternity that wants to host an exclusive party, and only invite specific frats or sororities. Likewise, you could host a party and only invite 20 friends. Or, a bar might have an open mic contest or a local museum might host a lecture with an important artist – the app will have space for all types of events.
The campus of Harvard University in Boston is an early candidate for the app. (Photo: Jannis Tobias Werner/Shutterstock)
“On Facebook, you can only see your Facebook friends and where they’re going," Dubrovsky said. "On Meetup you only see the groups you belong to. Here you see everything around you, you can speak to people who are around you, and you don’t have to be connected to them or leave a digital footprint. We really liked the idea of reaching across those boundaries."
Since a good event means different things to different people, users will also be prompted to rate an event on several metrics once they’re there. “People will be able to see if it’s alive or if it’s a dud,” Dubrovsky said.
Especially when it comes to partying and college campuses, both safety and privacy is a concern. To that end, users will be required to sign in to the app using their Facebook profile. In the Akross app, only their first name and last initial will be shown, but Dubrovsky says they’ve found that requiring the use of a real name adds an extra layer of accountability. Users can also authenticate with a .edu email address to see student-only events. And the company adheres to a strict flagging rule: two flags and an event will be removed.
The company is being helped by VLX Ventures, a technology incubator in Jerusalem. The app is nearing the end of its testing phase and will be rolled out in the U.S. as early as February. Boston, a city with a huge student and post-grad population, is likely to be an early target.
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