Wharton senior creates an app to help users make last-minute plans


Happ lets users post when they're free to study or spend time with friends




At the last minute your schedule opens up, but now you have to figure out what your friends are up to.

“Don’t get left out,” is the tagline for new iPhone and Android application created by Wharton senior Alex Levin.

Targeting students and young adults, Happ is designed to be the answer to last minute plan-making and awkward invitations to meet up with friends.

The app allows you to see in real-time which of your friends is available to hang out or are already doing so. Levin said the app is about “bringing people back together by getting people off their computers.”

Users can create posts on the app’s interface about their plans in one of five categories: Chill, Food, Party, Movie or Activity, including a short blurb with the post. While all your contacts are initially added to the list of people that can see your Happ posts, a recent enhancement based on user feedback now allows for certain numbers to be ‘un-checked’ from the friends list for more privacy.

Levin partnered with College junior Brandon Krieger and began developing the app as a part of PennApps in the fall of 2013 in collaboration with Engineering seniors Alex Yau, Caroline Ho and Joe Schaffer.

Currently, Krieger and the team are working on adding the new Study category to accommodate the needs of college students.

Levin and Krieger said the app has received positive feedback from friends who have used it so far. Happ went live for the iPhone and Android back in December, but the team has only begun promoting it online in the last three weeks. Numbers for the app’s total downloads so far are not available.

New apps sometimes face difficulty getting exposure because of the sheer number of them on the market today. Levin recognizes that it is very easy to accomplish this same thing Happ does by just posting on Facebook, but he says the difference is that Happ makes it more socially acceptable.

“Everyone is so self-conscious about what their status is,” Levin said, but Happ is able to bring the interaction “straight back to the causal, ‘Let’s hang out, I’m free, you’re free.’”

Levin is realistic about his expectations for Happ’s future, saying he is working on it more for the fun of a cool project, rather than expecting it to be the next Snapchat. “There’s definitely room for apps in this space, and there’s nothing else that does what it does,” Krieger added.

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