This UD student's app makes social media 'likes' a competition - Delaware

Software Development

This UD student’s app makes social media ‘likes’ a competition

Like totally, totaling likes. Meet Prominence.

That trusty icon of approval.

(Photo by Flickr user Philip Wilson, used under a Creative Commons license)

Let’s face it: You get the warm and fuzzies when people like your Facebook statuses, Twitter posts and Instagram pics. You just do.
Harry Leavitt.

Harry Leavitt. (Courtesy photo)

The enterprising University of Delaware junior Harry Leavitt decided to capitalize on that wonderful feeling with an app that gamifies “likes” from those platforms. He’s calling it Prominence.

He, along with three others, have been working on the app for about nine months and after a soft launch, have debugged it so that it’s up and running on the App Store.

“We were thinking about how into social media everybody is … and how into it we are — and how good it makes you feel and how people get competitive with it,” Leavitt said.

Here’s how it works: You link your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles to the app, and each time you get a “like” on something you post from any of those platforms, it gets tallied on Prominence. The app has levels, and the more likes you get, the higher level you go. To get past the first level, you have to get 25 likes. So far the highest level is 20, which requires about 50,000 recorded likes. There’s a leaderboard, and you can see how you compare with other users and what your numbers are for the week, month and all-time.

A screenshot of Prominence in action.

A screenshot of Prominence in action. (Courtesy image)

If 50,000 sounds astronomical to you, think again.


“I think we’ll have to add some more levels because some people are moving up more than we expected,” Leavitt said.

The app has about 600 users, he said, and he and his team promoted it with a contest during UD’s recent Greek Week — when UD’s sororities and fraternities hold a bunch of competitions and events with each other — and the contest tripled Prominence’s user base.

You can view other users and where they rank on the app.

You can view other users and where they rank on the app. (Courtesy image)

The Prominence team, aside from Leavitt, includes his roommate, Will Kerwin, Hofstra University student Cameron Chin and a Dublin-based student developer named Niall Paterson, whom Leavitt had initially hired as a contractor.

The app is free, and Leavitt isn’t jazzed about monetizing through advertising. He’s interested, he said, in a sponsorship model where companies use the app as a platform.

This summer, he said the Prominence guys will focus on expanding the app’s reach outside of UD and adding a “best friends” tab to see who you’re liking the most and who’s liking your posts the most.

“Eventually we want to have our own content, our own ‘like’ system on there,” Leavitt said. “Right now there’s no place that combines all three platforms — or even more if we expand. … We think that’s a good opportunity for us.”

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