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Mobile Computing

Berkeley Grad Launches Campus Networking App

University of California, Berkeley students have a new place to virtually hang out, thanks to a new iPhone app developed by a recent graduate.

The app, dubbed Five, allows students to "chat in semi-anonymous rooms on any topic, from parties to study groups," according to a UC Berkeley news release.

Rooms are organized by "worlds," which are based on residence halls, campus groups or clubs, student government and more. Users can access up to five rooms, and each room can have up to five participants, each of whom can only see messages posted after they entered.

"The idea is to imitate real-life social interaction," said Nikita Bier, the former student behind the app, in a report in Berkeley's student paper. "You don't walk into a bar or party with your description on display. You cannot scroll up to see an actual conversation's history."

Currently, the app is only available on the iPhone with an invitation code to individuals with a UC Berkeley email address. A version that requires no invitation is planned for a fall release.

Bier has launched four apps previously, including Politify, a data visualization tool that helped users see how political candidates' economic policies would affect them, and Five Labs, a tool that aims to predict users' personalities from their Facebook posts.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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