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Students launch ChatApp

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Cody Luk
LV Life Editor

Students in the Business Consulting class (BUS 494) go beyond textbooks and the confinements of a classroom to create a real life marketing campaign for ChatApp, a social mobile phone application for users to communicate and meet new people.

Adjunct Professor of Business Arnel Guiang teaches the class and is also the founder and CEO of ChatApp. Senior business majors Jessica De Luna, Joel Sierra, Jovanny Silva and Boye Christiansen work with students from Cal Poly Pomona on ChatApp.

“We get to apply the business skills we have learned in other classes to a real-world scenario,” Christiansen said. “This builds valuable real life experience that goes far beyond what any textbook can teach you. The project has also helped prepare us for the challenges that face us when we enter the professional world after we have completed our studies.”

The Cal Poly Pomona team built the app as their senior project and ChatApp was released earlier this year on the Apple App Store for iOS users and the Google Play Store for Android users. The Cal Poly Pomona students code and continuously add new features to the app. The ULV students are responsible for the marketing aspect of ChatApp and started working with the app after its initial release.

“Our goal is to make the app as big as we know it can be,” Sierra said. “At this point, we have seen a 50 percent increase in users and are working on retention and increased usage.”

The app currently has more than 150,000 users.

Users can socialize by sending messages, emoticions, audio, and images with the app. They can share and see posts by people in the nearby community with the Moments function and meet new people with the Radar function. There is also a function called Meet for users to connect with new people.

The ULV students launched a small Facebook ad campaign and gradually spend more money on it as time goes by. They also wrote press release to spread the word about ChatApp.

“As students, we’re always working on theoretical concepts but now we’re actually getting to do hands-on and doing something real,” De Luna said. “It’s not like you come out here and have your textbook.”

Although the students from both schools have only met together twice in person, they communicate regularly online.

The students said they enjoy this project because they are able to apply the business and marketing skills they gained in previous classes into real life.

“What I liked the most is just putting theories into practice,” Sierra said. “I’ve always read about Facebook campaigns but (now I’m) actually be able to work on one. It’s really awesome that someone actually believe in us. The University tries to find companies and provides students with opportunities to work and build relationships.”

The business consulting class is usually offered in the spring but this is the first time the class is working on a marketing campaign for a mobile phone application.

In previous years students had worked with companies and organizations, such as the Fairplex.

“We get to try anything we want to,” Sierra said. “It’s more than just a class, it’s like an internship.”

“There has been a great chemistry between the students,” Christiansen said. “We have personalities and skills that complement each other, which you always want in a business setting.”

ChatApp is launching new features soon. Early users may have a chance to be one of the first people to try the new features, Sierra said.

For more information, visit chatapp.mobi. The app can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and enter the promotional code college for special features.

Cody Luk can be reached at cody.luk@laverne.edu.

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