Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Student-designed LykeMe app forms relationships through shared interests

October 15, 2014

Computer engineering junior Yoseph Radding had an interest: electronics, and more specifically, robotics. 

He wanted to connect with other people at MSU or the Lansing area who shared this passion, but found that his options were limited with such a niche interest. He spoke with economics senior Joshua Ogundu, who had a similar experience, and the idea for the LykeMe app was born.

“The purpose is to connect people who have similar social and professional interests within the same area,” Ogundu said. 

But the app goes much deeper than that.

Radding and Ogundu hope LykeMe will foster friendship and community with people from different social, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds. They aspire to show people around the world that everyone is similar, and they believe LykeMe will help people from various walks of life to connect through their similarities rather than focus on their differences.

LykeMe is different from other social networking apps because it’s meant for the user to find friends, not connect them with current friends. It’s a place where people with uncommon or narrow interests can find each other.

“It’s focused on friendships and lasting relationships,” Radding said. 

He emphasized the fact that LykeMe is not an app for shallow acquaintances or presenting yourself in the best light.

Ogundu feels there are a lot of unknowns with other social networks. He wants to eliminate ambiguity on LykeMe by creating a place where people can be their “whole self.”

LykeMe is also unique in that it uses geolocation, so a tight-knit community can be formed from people within the same area.

Ogundu and Radding are now launching the app at MSU but would like to launch it at other Big Ten schools as well, then in other cities, and eventually nationwide.

They wanted to start LykeMe at universities because the 18-29 age group is the most active on social networks, according to the Pew Research Center.

Ogundu and Radding are currently recruiting beta sign ups so that MSU students can test Lyke Me before it hits the app store. According to the website, there are 76 more days before the release. 

“At MSU, everybody has that one thing, being a Spartan, in common — but what else do we have in common?” Ogundu said, “That’s what LykeMe will show you.”

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