Butterfly – Trinity’s New Social Media Start-up
Butterfly is a new social media concept, created with the mission of negating biases and connecting people through shared interests. The primary objective of Butterfly is to connect users over events that relate to their specific interests. For someone with an interest in fitness and art, the app might suggest a photo walk in St Stephen’s Green, a group jog the Phoenix Park, or painting seascapes at Dun Laoghaire harbour.
Functionally, the app is quite straightforward. Users input their information, build a profile, and navigate events on the app’s map-like interface. The idea is built around user anonymity. Users are connected based solely on shared interests. Users do not know who will be in attendance until they arrive at the events. This has been implemented with the objective of safeguarding against bias by removing the opportunity to judge others based on perceived racial, cultural, or economic status.
For safety reasons, people may be intimidated by the prospect of meeting a group of strangers. The plus one feature incorporated by Butterfly allows users to include a friend in the event without making other attendees feel too excluded. The group dynamic is a defining point for Butterfly as they believe as it is less intimidating than meeting strangers one on one, as people do with their competitor apps, Tinder, Friender and Bumble.
Butterfly’s team is currently two members strong, consisting of Seamus Conlon and David Kubala. Seamus is a 3rd year Global Business student with start-up expertise in the field of software development and enterprise software sales. Dave is a 3rd year Computer Science student known for his graphic design work and is proficient in Python, Java, Dart, C#, C++, and Objective-C programming skills. They was inspired to create the idea during a discussion about race following the Black Lives Matter movement in America.
Where They Are Now
Over the past two months, Seamus and David have accomplished a number of early milestones. Their initial market research included 500 responses and yielded promising results regarding their target market’s enthusiasm for the project. Using the feedback gained from the survey, Dave refined the app to coincide with relevant design queues.
Butterfly’s functional minimum variable product (MVP) is now ready for testing with a small group of users and the team is excited to gain more insight into what users would like to see in future versions. Butterfly has benefited greatly from the Trinity Entrepreneurial Society’s Incubator experience as they have had access to experts to help them refine strategy and realise their vision. They highly recommend the programme to all students studying in Trinity.
Plans For The Future
Butterfly hope to conduct alpha testing on an MVP of the app and develop a research report from the findings within two months. At the same time, they are looking to get letters of intent from local businesses that will promote their venues on their platforms when it goes live.
In the longer term, Butterfly aim to launch the app exclusively to Trinity students in 2021, after which they will conduct further research and refinement of the platform for a Version 2. This will be released to all college students in Dublin, and later to the general public. Butterfly plan to firstly release to college students because their market research indicates that this group is the most enthusiastic for this idea and Butterfly hope to gain traction here before expanding outwards.
Get In Touch
If you would like to volunteer for alpha testing for Butterfly’s product or are interested in promoting your venue on Butterfly, please email Seamus at the following address: Seconlon@tcd.ie