Frustrated with the lack of an ideal platform to share funny moments, Olivia Joslin and Hannah Wei, Wellesley ’18, created CliqBit. CliqBit is similar to Snapchat, allowing users to share their photos, videos, and posts with a specific group of friends for a limited timeframe that can range from only 5 seconds to as long as 48 hours.
CliqBit’s inspiration occurred when Joslin and Wei were discussing their days and were upset that they had missed the opportunity to share a funny moment with their friends. “No one really posts statuses on Facebook anymore, Twitter is also a fading network,” Joslin said. “There wasn’t anything we could find with the funny focus, that we wanted.”
Joslin and Wei leveraged their computer science backgrounds to create a polished, user-friendly app featuring a newsfeed and “Blazin’ Bits” which highlights trending posts shared on the app. Users can create groups, known as “Cliqs,” that you can share privately with specific groups of friends. Users can sign into the app using Facebook and share their posts to their friends’ “walls” as well. If users like a post, they can give feedback by tapping the “cheers” button. There is no public counter, removing the anxiety over likes on your post.
A unique feature is CliqBit’s ability to allow users to share posts for as little as five seconds to as long as 48 hours. Wei believes this versatility is one of many attributes that separates CliqBit from many of the other apps.
“In the app world right now there are either very permanent platforms or anonymous disappearing platforms,” said Wei. “We hope to be a bridge of sorts and somewhere in between.”
Currently, the app has had around 800 users, which has allowed the founders to identify potential issues before officially launching. They expect to see growth following the Feb. 3 launch, Joslin said.
CliqBit is designed to be a place for members to interact casually and make people more aware of their own individual, humorous moments. Joslin hopes people recognize their funny content and share in it a positive environment.
“We were running from class to class … Cutting out other parts of our lives in order to keep up with all the roles we have to play,” said Wei.
“Our surveys have indicated that most social media users do not enjoy the negative atmosphere,” Joslin said.
Initially, both founders said it was difficult to get everything up and running and needed to learn along the way how to manage their time. Both founders indicated that starting your own app can be difficult, and one needs to wear multiple hats in the process.
“We were running from class to class,” said Wei. “Cutting out other parts of our lives in order to keep up with all the roles we have to play.”
Joslin and Wei hope to target college students and hope users will be able to find and follow funny users through trending posts. They want to set themselves apart from the social media app Yik-Yak, popular among college students despite having a divisive atmosphere with the shroud of anonymity. CliqBit is meant to be a haven, they said.
“We want social media to be more positive, and want people to share some of the nicer moments in their lives,” said Joslin. “Many don’t want to deal with negative content in their lives.”
CliqBit hopes to advertise in the future, with ads displayed as posts, as well as hosting events to promote the product. They also floated the idea of having a paid account for comedians. This account would include an ability to sell tickets, along with a link to a website, Joslin said.
The app launched this week and is available on the iOS app store. Joslin and Wei hope to release an Android version in the future.They believe that an Android version will allow for expansion into Asia, a heavily Android-based market.
In the future, the founders believe the app will continue to make social media fun.
“We are definitely going to keep updating it to keep up with the younger generation,” said Wei.
Featured Image by CliqBit