Yale’s only events app, Moves, is back, with plans to rebrand and relaunch at the start of the next academic year.
Moves, which three Yale juniors created in the summer of 2017, was a huge hit at the start of this academic year, garnering more than 1,000 downloads in the first few weeks after its launch, according to Chris Moore ’19, one of the app’s creators. The app allows both attendees and hosts of events to track real-time attendance numbers by using location services on app users’ cell phones. Once at an event, users can open the app, which automatically records their attendance. As a result, users to identify the most popular events and determine if their friends will be there.
“It’s real-time information,” said Owais Khan ’19, co-creator of the app. “With Facebook events, it may say that 500 people are going, but there’s no good way to see how many people will actually go. You also don’t know how good a party is by looking at its Facebook page.”
The app evaluates an events’ popularity based on its “rate of change,” allowing people to know where to go based on whether total attendance is rising or falling. By “friending” others on the app, users can identify which events their friends are attending.
Since the app first launched, its founders have made several changes in response to feedback and recommendations from users. Some of the new features include lower battery use, the ability to designate events as public or private and the ability to import events from Facebook.
This semester, team members are continuing to add features and to focus on rebranding the app, even going so far as to change its name from “MovesY” to “MovesU” in an effort to make it appear less Yale-exclusive. They are also making the app more secure, a consequence of the winter-break hack.
“It wasn’t a targeted attack, just a sophisticated spambot that attacked the app while I was working on it,” Moore explained. “A link to a website was sent to user emails, but I saw it immediately and fixed the issue. No personal user data was compromised, but we do apologize to all users.”
Though much of the app use has been related to Yale’s social scene, the founders intend for it to be used in relation to any and all events.
“We also want to appeal to small businesses, like Box,” said Khan. “It would allow the business to see the analytics, like how many people came to an event because it was listed on Moves.”
The team also plans to expand the app to other universities, like Wake Forest and Brown. According to Moore, the initial developer, the app could find greater success at schools that are less pedestrian-friendly than Yale, like large state schools.
The team is enthusiastic about the app’s prospects and still has ideas for additions outside of large-event planning, including a messaging feature that would allow users to contact friends through the app and schedule small events, like a dining hall dinner.
Moves was released on Aug. 25, 2017.
Madison Mahoney | firstname.lastname@example.org
Clarification, Jan. 24: The article has been updated to reflect that the relaunch of Moves is not related to the hacking that occurred during winter break.