Staying In Touch

Apps that students could use to keep themselves in the loop

Campus Life > Staying In Touch
Staying In Touch
Amid the ongoing health crisis, social networking is one of many ways for the Kean community to keep in touch with each other.
Khali Raymond, Staff Writer

With many students learning remotely, it has been a struggle for some to find quality social interaction. As the university gears up to begin hybrid and face-to-face instruction, students are looking for ways to remain in contact with their friends, family and colleagues. Fortunately, there is an array of apps that students could choose from to fulfill this purpose.

GroupMe is a messaging service where users can create their own groups to share videos, photos and direct messages.

GroupMe is completely free for use and is downloadable for Android, iOS and Windows.

It can also be used via SMS and web clients for those that either do not wish to download the app or cannot access it on a smartphone.

The app is particularly useful for study groups, classes and extracurricular clubs to stay up to date with their assignments and to connect with other peers.

Instagram is a photo and video sharing service where users can share content, like, comment on posts, chat with peers privately and give a glimpse of their lives to the world.

Instagram is available for download on Android, iOS and in a web browser.

The service was bought by Facebook in 2012 and has over 500 million daily users. It is tremendously popular among college students.

Creators have made themselves at home with many of Instagram's features, such as IGTV, where users can post their own full-length videos, and Reels, which is similar to the app TikTok. On Reels, users can post up to fifteen seconds of video clips within a single submission.

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging service where users are able to exchange pictures and videos called "snaps" that disappear upon viewing.

The app is known for its variety of filters and lenses for users to send to their friends.

Users can post a snap onto their story that is viewable by anyone they are friends with. It disappears within 24 hours. Snapchat also offers news and a section where creators can share their work with their audiences.

Groups can also be created on Snapchat. Another notable feature of Snapchat is the Snapcode, a scanned image akin to a QR code, which can be read by a smartphone's camera and used to connect with friends on the platform.

Wildfire is an app that keeps college students informed of important events and helps to get the word out quickly.

The app is downloadable on Android and iOS. Wildfire is a fairly new app, but already used by 350,000 students across over 200 college campuses in the nation, Kean being one of them.

The app's name is derived from the metaphor "spreading like wildfire." Its concept came about in 2015, when one of Wildfire's founders was mugged at UC Berkeley.

He made a post about it on Facebook but realized the post didn't go out to enough people, so the individual got together with other founders to create an app which would find an effective way to spread news in real time.

Wildfire was featured in the Huffington Post, Forbes and in The Daily Texan. The app shows alerts based on a user's location and isn't limited to friends and family.

With this selection of apps, students should not have to worry about any shortage of communication options.


about the author

Khali Raymond, Staff Writer
raymonkh@kean.edu

Khali Raymond is a junior pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in English with a Writing Option. He graduated from Berkeley College - Newark with his Associate’s in Business Administration in August 2019. Joining the staff in September 2019, he works as a staff writer for The Cougar’s Byte. Khali has a lengthy resume with five years of professional experience in creative writing and publishing. He has written for editorials such as The Obama Foundation, Prudential, and PTSDJournal. Khali is also a performance poet and emcee. Khali plans to proceed with his plans of becoming a bestselling author, critically acclaimed poet and a multi-platinum selling artist after attaining his degree from Kean University.