HEADLINES

Ridgefield High School Alum Mark Galione '16 Develops New App, AddU, to Optimize Social Media Use

Mark Galione graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2016, and quickly become acclimated to his new surroundings at Bentley University. The first semester was barely underway when Galione and four friends from his college (Schindel, Ryan, Tocci, and Mountain) decided to create AddU, an app that uses a QR code to optimize media connection (and the business card).

By creating an AddU account, you can share all the media accounts you wish (instagram, snapchat, facebook, twitter, email, phone number, etc) with someone else by presenting your QR code for them to scan, and vice versa. Galione sat down with us to discuss the new app, how it came to be, why they made it, and what’s next for AddU.


What inspired the application? How did you come up with the idea of AddU?

The idea for AddU came in the first weeks of our freshman year at Bentley University. We saw that in a setting where many people are meeting each other for the first time, it was pertinent to simplify the process of connecting with others. Today, people connect via social media, however there are many platforms that all contribute to what we consider complete connection from Email, to Snapchat, to Facebook, and so on. So, this problem became the foundation of the idea for AddU. From there we decided that a QR code would be the easiest way to share this information and we started with basic profiles which include the social media essentials such as LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter.

How many people assisted in the creating of the app?

The main AddU team consists of Levi Schindel, Logan Ryan, Phil Tocci, James Mountain, and myself. I currently run much of the social media marketing aspect of the company, which we have found critical to branding. Others run things from product development to organizing marketing campaigns. Luckily, we have all learned our strengths and weaknesses from working together and are typically able to build off of where another member may lack. Also, we have had a lot of interest from other people including our friends who simply wish to help, things including graphic design and beta testing. This is exciting because we love to get other minds working on the project, and get the creative juices flowing in order to enhance the product and our approach.

What problem are you trying to solve?

As I mentioned, the current way in which people connect typically requires exchanging information for 2-4 different social media outlets. This process turns into a sort of puzzle, each form of social media being a piece. What we hope to do is simplify this process and allow users to connect completely. We want to eliminate things such as awkward attempts at getting someone’s number, unsuccessful sifting through accounts with names similar to your new friend’s, and subpar personal and professional networks.

Who is your target audience?

We began with our target audience being high school and college students. This would be exceptionally useful for teens and young adults who are avid social media users. Additionally, we see a plausible application for AddU in the professional world. You know those old things called business cards? Yeah, we have some ideas for that.

Where can people find your app? Is it free to use?

AddU can be found in both the Apple App Store here as well as Google Play. The app is completely free as well.

What’s next for AddU?

For us, we do not consider the app to be a finished product. We believe that there are endless possibilities for its growth and continuation. Right now, we are working on some features that should allow for both an easier user experience as well as more opportunities to share social media information. We are definitely excited about what we can create from what we have so far. However, we hope to maintain the simplicity of the application while continuing to create the best product possible.

 

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