Colin Armstrong
Colin Armstrong
Colin Armstrong

There are hundreds of photo-sharing apps vying for students’ attention, but bumpn, a new app being developed in Ottawa, is hoping to stand out with its features directed to student life.

The app uses the phone’s built-in geolocation to let students know how far they are from events that are ‘bumpn’, allowing them to engage with their peers.

“There’s not really any other app where you can see what’s going on at your campus,” said Colin Armstrong, a marketing intern at bumpn and 2015 Algonquin graduate.

Bumpn also incorporates Apple’s new 3D touch technology, which can sense how hard you are pressing on the screen.

“We’re actually the first to use it for using emotion,” said Armstrong.  “The harder you press it the more hearts it will start giving.”

Alex Warnholtz, an Algonquin grad coordinating the campus marketing team, said that they are one of the first apps that allow you to like a picture more than once.

Warnholtz has been leading the street team made up of student ambassadors for bumpn, engaging with other students and getting their feedback on the app.

Long term success will depend on building that strong user base quickly, said Diane Isabelle, assistant professor of global entrepreneurship at Carleton University. Being ahead of the competition on new technology is helpful, she added, but novelty wears out quick, so the business model needs to be strong and there needs to be a clear path to monetization.

At the moment they are getting about 40 or 50 downloads a day as a direct result of their guerilla marketing, Warnholtz said.

In mid-October, the bumpn development team will be releasing an update that will incorporate some of the feedback gathered by the street teams.

The update will make it possible to message other bumpn users directly from the picture screen, and popular pictures will be able to compete in the new leaderboards.

With the ability to like a picture more than once, competition for best picture of the day and best picture of all time could become fierce.

“I think a lot of people are going to be trying to get onto that top list and posting more pictures,” said Armstrong.