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Mace & Crown | May 30, 2017

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Lotsa App Brings Big New Update to ODU

Lotsa App Brings Big New Update to ODU

Ross Reelachart
Technology Editor

If you’re active on the ODU campus and on social media, there’s a chance that you have encountered the new mobile app Lotsa. Created by friends Leopold Joy and Sasha Rudolf, Lotsa is the social media app born of their desire to connect students with what’s happening on their campus. A big new update has been released for the iOS and Android app, so Mace & Crown got in contact with Rudolf to learn a little bit about Lotsa and its growth since its release in January.

After meeting on the MIT campus during a weekend-long high school project, Joy and Rudolf began working together on little digital projects. They worked remotely between their locations in Ottawa, Canada and New York before beginning to work full-time on their apps in Toronto. They recently moved to Leo’s parents’ cottage on the Outer Banks. “It’s a pretty awesome place to be creative. When we started reaching out to the schools nearby, ODU was definitely the most responsive. So we decided to start there,” Rudolf said in response to their choice of launch location.

ODU turned out to be very receptive to Lotsa’s brand of simple and efficient internet socializing, with Lotsa receiving a lot of daily activity. Lotsa’s success seemed to hinge on its simplicity and immediacy when compared to other, more recognizable social media applications. “So much is always going on around campus, but people don’t know about it. Info tends to get lost in Facebook groups and emails. We created a fun way to share this info,” Rudolf said. Indeed, Lotsa’s Tinder-style stack of events, which can be swiped left and right, is a quick and easy way to see what’s going on right now. Once picked, users can immediately chat with other users who picked that event. Notably, events on Lotsa were limited to what was happening on that day, emphasizing Lotsa’s “pick-up-and-join” functionality.

However, like all good mobile applications, Lotsa needed to grow and change to better suit its users. The messaging system was added post-launch, and the new big update will get rid of their “Tinder stack” interface and replace it with a ranked list of group chats you can join at the university. As it turned out, Lotsa was finding its niche in getting small groups of people together to do little activities together like binging a show on Netflix, starting a band or even starting a boxing club. Getting students who share a common interest together, quickly, became the new aim of Lotsa.

The evolution of Lotsa can also serve as a real world example of app development for the many students at ODU who might be interested in trying their hand at making an app too. Rudolf emphasized the need to understand the needs of your users, and also just getting something done. “We’ve dreamt up many complicated products in the basement, built them and then found there was a fundamental reason people didn’t want to use them. Now we get to something people can use as fast and simple as possible to see how people actually use it.”

With the new update, it’s a great time to find Lotsa on Android or iOS and connect with the campus in a new way. Plus, Lotsa will be expanding in the future. They recently launched at George Mason University, and are bringing Lotsa to more campuses. For any questions or inquiries, the Lotsa team can be found on most social media using the name “@LotsaTeam.”