When Nathan Reynolds graduated from university finished from the University of Michigan in May 2021, he said he looked back at his classmates and realized how few he met. After more than a year completely virtual classes and extracurricular activitiesReynolds said he wants to help prospective students make new friends on campus in time transition get out of the pandemic. So Reynolds tossed his cap in the air and decided to create an app that would do just that. That fall, Double was born.
Dabl Reynolds CEO collaborated with co-founders Adish Shah, a 2021 UM graduate, and 2021 Ithaca College graduate Alex Elkanin, to launch the app in the Apple App Store. After the pilot launch, Reynolds and Elkonin added new features and redesigned the restart program on December 31, 2021.
Dabl is a social networking program where UM students can create a profile and find other students to chat with. The interface shows the physical distance between the user and other Dabl profiles, allowing users to see their closeness to other students. Profiles contain images, key facts – including age, gender identity and academic specialty – and more specific information about user activities, extracurricular activities and hobbies.
Reynolds said “Dabl” got its name from the word “dabble”, which he believes reflects the essence of the platform.
“(Dbble) literally means dipping your finger into something (…) there’s really no emphasis on anything but your willingness to try to do different things,” Reynolds said. “We like the idea that Dabl is a place where you just go and try to meet cool people, where there is no expectation of what you do (…), it can connect you with other people (who have similar interests) ) ».
According to the appendix advertising site, Dabl is “an application for meeting people around you”. Reynolds, who received a degree in computer science, said he was inspired to use what he learned at university to create a platform that would allow students to easily connect with each other.
“I just came up with this idea for a platform that just connects you with people during your day,” Reynolds said.
LSA junior Christina Lai has been using Dabl for several months. Lai said the app was critical to her social experience as a student translator and helped her make friends on campus despite physical limitations the pandemic continues. Lai said she especially likes that this app helps her connect with other students studying similar subjects.
“I like how you can see what (other students) are learning because … let’s say someone has a degree in psychology because I personally study BCN,” Lai said. “I (would think)” Oh, we can have the same class together, “so I reached out and said, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’
Freshman engineer Derek Miller was one of Dabl’s first users after its initial launch in the fall 2021 semester. He said he first learned about the app when Elkonin and Shah promoted it within Innovation Living Community in the East Quad. Miller said he appreciates that the app was created by UM graduates who are familiar with the campus culture and habits of UM students on social media.
“(Elkonin and Shah) came to where I live, in the Innovation Living Community (and) everyone was very happy to support the entrepreneurship they were doing,” Miller said. “If you’re going to have a social networking app in college, (Dabl) is much more focused on college … in terms of social networking, it’s very optimized for UM students.”
Shah received a degree from the University in Data Science. He said his education prepared him to work with data and marketing for the Dabl project, but his experience in the UM community was perhaps even more important.
“Michigan has helped me in many ways, sensitive ways with technical skills and creating a solid foundation for what the engineering process looks like,” Shah said. “But the community in Michigan is also just phenomenal. I mean, you throw a stone in the air and he can fall for a great business student, he can come to a talented programmer, designer, lawyer; it is the most valuable thing that (university) can give ”.
Elkonin, who studied international politics and economics at Ithaca College in New York City, said he knew Reynolds from elementary school, and was excited to join the Dabl team when he and Reynolds recovered last fall. He said the main goals of the project include encouraging students to use technology to support personal connections.
“Our main vision is to live face to face,” Elkonin said. “We try not to play on people’s addiction to phones. All we are trying to do is give people a very simple and quick way to connect with people who are in their immediate vicinity. Hopefully, (Dabl) can cause some spontaneous interactions that would only happen daily, before COVID-19 ”.
All of Dabl’s founders have said they have received positive feedback from student users since the program’s launch, and they look forward to what students think about the changes they’ve made with the restart.
LSA junior Isabella Rukay said her experience of using Dabl has been overwhelmingly positive. She said that what Double touches on the tap was a useful way to find friends to study in private as she could no longer use Zoom chat to communicate with peers in virtual classrooms.
“I think, frankly, a big part of this app is that you can use it however you want, whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship or just studying with someone for your next economics exam,” Hand said. “I think the ability to search and select friends and acquaintances based on your own needs is probably the best part of this app.”
The Daily Staff reporter Carlin Pendell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.