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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Social media app launches to connect Texas State students

A+student+opens+the+Circa+app+on+their+phone%2C+Monday%2C+April+4%2C+2022%2C+at+Texas+State.

A student opens the Circa app on their phone, Monday, April 4, 2022, at Texas State.

Circa, a new social media app, seeks to spark friendships among college students by fostering a location-based community both on and off-campus.
Co-founders Daniel Davidson and Eli Yazdi created the platform in order to bring students together and connect them with local activities and groups tied to their interests.
“It’s an online community, but it’s really your community,” Yazdi said. “We believe in having continuing relationships with our users because we’re here to make it better for you.”
While Circa made its Apple App Store debut in June 2020, Yazdi and Davidson recently started marketing the app at universities. In February, the duo decided to start their campaign at Texas State, making it the first university to be targeted.
Yazdi said they wanted to market the app to college students and their local communities rather than focus on merely trends and analytics.
“We believe that existing social media prioritizes what’s viral and not necessarily relevant information that can help you make daily decisions,” Yazdi, who also serves as Circa’s product designer, said. “When I was post-college I was thinking ‘Where’s the next experience? Where can I create the next memory?'”
Even though the app recently began targeting Texas State students, Bobcats like Drew Summers, a public administration junior, have already started taking advantage of the app’s features to connect with fellow students.
“Texas State has Facebook groups and Instagram pages, but they don’t have one social media platform to unite the whole school,” Summers said.
Summers also works as Circa’s community engagement manager and helped establish Texas State as the first university on the app. His job consists of working with the community to find out how Circa can better serve Texas State.
Summers transferred to Texas State from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where he used Wildfire, a social news app for college students, which sparked his interest in partnering with Circa.
“I was searching and thought, ‘is there something like that for Texas State?’ Then I found some people who were doing just that,” Summers said. “I thought, ‘Texas State is a good place to start. This is exactly what I’ve been wanting at school.'”
Summers shows off his Bobcat pride on the Texas State Circa channel he created which currently has over 50 members. In the channel, students can discuss things like coffee shop recommendations, classes and all things Texas State. More Bobcats are getting on the Circa train to contribute to the general discussions.
“When I first got onto Circa, there was no Texas State channel at all,” Summers said. “I’ve been proud of it. It’s been really great to see the community grow.”
Circa has a proximity feature built into its algorithm that allows students to learn about nearby events, meet up with friends and find campus resources. The app will automatically update to reflect conversations and topics when a user moves. Where users roam, the app will follow.
“You can talk to different college students on Circa from anywhere on the global channel. A neat way to connect to everyone at once,” Summers said. “Or you can go to a channel that is specific to your university.”
Besides joining the local channels that are shown to them, users also have the opportunity to create a channel of their own based on their interests and hobbies.
Ben Bryant, a computer science junior, downloaded Circa at the beginning of the year. He started a skateboarding channel on Circa to connect with local skaters and make new friends who shared his interest.
“I think it’s cool how Circa can help people in smaller communities,” Bryant said. “Especially for freshmen or people just moving here looking to find some friends.”
Bryant said that since it is difficult to find authentic personal connections and friendships on other social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, he is hopeful Circa can provide a space to do so.
“I definitely appreciate the more person-to-person feel Circa gives compared to other apps, where you barely see people that are part of your community at all,” Bryant said. “I definitely think Circa can help people connect on college campuses.”
The Circa team is working to include direct messaging, links to events and profile personalization so that students can include things like their major and interests. For now, the Circa team is focusing on their goal of creating a space online in which students can find resources, feel a sense of belonging and make new friends.
Circa is available to download in the Apple App Store and will be available on the Google Play Store soon. To learn more about Circa, visit https://www.connectwithcirca.com/.

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