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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Yabber’ app fosters roommate dialogue

    Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wil
    Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wildcat Yabber is a new app that allows roommates to communicate about money spent on bills and groceries as well as their location. This allows roommates to stay in contact and manage finances.

    The Yabber app has been developed to help college roommates manage expenses and stay in touch.

    Sean Thielen, co-founder and app designer of Yabber, describes the app as a private hyper-local social network. He said the app isn’t an attempt at replacing other modes of communication, such as texting, calling or talking in person, but it informs a person what their roommates are up to.

    Jonathan Miller, co-founder of Yabber, introduced a few features that he thought made the app different from others. He said that there are buttons to inform roommates the user needs privacy or is getting food. In addition to creating total roommate awareness, Yabber can also handle students’ money.

    “Yabber keeps a running tally of all expenses between roommates,” Miller said. “If one of the roommates had the electric bill, I bought dinner and another roommate bought something else, Yabber automatically calculates which roommate owes which, and then allows roommates to transfer money directly to each other with a debit card.”

    Miller said Yabber operates differently than other apps that work with expenses. He said it allows the user to transfer money using their debit or credit card number.

    The founders began several months ago working with  University Niche, a website that helped students find university housing. The Yabber app was developed over a few months this summer as a branch off of University Niche.

    “Neither of us had any experience making apps or anything like that,” Thielen said. “We just bought some books and buckled down and did it.”

    Thielen said he and Miller designed the app based on their own experiences living together as roommates.

    “We showed it to a lot of our friends, and it sort of started taking off on its own,” Thielen said. “So, we decided to keep developing it out and keep working with it.”

    Miller said the app is being marketed to all college students, as they are “predominantly the people that are going to be living with roommates, and they’ve never lived with roommates before.”

    Jesse Lee, a pre-business sophomore, has been using the Yabber app for three weeks.

    “I think it’d be helpful for anyone who’s living with multiple people,” Lee said, “because so far, it’s been really convenient for us.”Miller said the app has been picked up by a lot of freshmen, since it’s the first time many of them are living with new people, and it can be hard to communicate efficiently. He added the privacy feature is huge, especially in the dorms, because students are sharing rooms.

    “We do have a significant amount of users, especially in Arizona,” Miller said.

    Miller said that since the release of the app, the number of users has grown rapidly, and they are adding users each week, but he cannot legally disclose the exact number of users at this time.

    “We designed [Yabber] to be based around creating awareness between roommates,” Thielen said.


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