Derek Nelson relaunched the “metoo” app after almost a year of improvements centered around student-needs brought new features and possibilities to the design.
Nelson is a part-time student at the University of Rhode Island and is only taking one class this semester.
“Metoo” was originally created earlier this year, but Nelson got caught up in other commitments so he waited until now to relaunch the app. The app contains many different features to help students come together and make plans. Not only can they make plans, but they can also post their thoughts and pictures in order to express themselves.
“It’s a social media that’s for making plans with friends,” Nelson said, “For instance, you make a post that says, ‘I’m going to Butterfield’, your friends can see that and if they want to go with you, they can tap ‘metoo.’”
The main purpose of this social media app is to allow people to make plans with each other and connect easier. The idea behind this started when Nelson was a freshman at the University of Rhode Island. He realized that he was making a lot of friends, but had no easy way to make plans with all of them. Ever since this spark of an idea, Nelson has been working away to make sure it is successful and fun for everyone.
“I felt like it was way too hard to keep up with my friends,” Nelson said. “I had people that I would love to grab lunch with, but we don’t know each other’s schedules. There’s got to be a better way and somehow there wasn’t, so I made it happen.”
Slowly but surely, Nelson was able to figure out how to create “metoo” and make his vision come true. Overall, his goal was to be able to create a better sense of community and he was able to do just that. With this new sense of community, Nelson wanted to ensure that people who post on the ‘rabble’ tab are anonymous. He wants people to feel confident and safe when they post on the app.
“If you’re going to make a request to see one of the anonymous posts, we just won’t give you any of the information about that person,” Nelson said. “There’s no way for you to possibly get that.”
Along with the sense of community he is striving for, Nelson needed to ensure that people weren’t going to post inappropriate comments. When posting on the ‘rabble’ section of the app, people are completely anonymous and that can lead to bullying and inappropriate comments.
“We have blacklists of words, both on the app side and the server side,” Nelson said. “So if you try to make a post that has certain words, it won’t let you do it.”
Along with the blacklist of words, Nelson made it possible for people to only sign up with their phone numbers. This ensures that if someone is repeatedly inappropriate and rude on the app and get kicked off, they cannot make another account easily.
Nelson is very passionate about computer science, which led him to become fascinated with the idea of creating an app to help friends come together as a community. His plan is to promote it on campus here and have others spread the word to their friends who attend other schools. He also works hard to spread the word to his friends who attend different schools, in order to share the accomplishment with others.
“Quite honestly, I love doing this and all I want to do in my life is work for myself,” Nelson said. “My plan is to give this my all and see where it goes.”