Shmooz, a location-based messaging app, launched its test run in Bloomington three months ago. Some IU students are using it to connect with people throughout the city..
The app is for individuals to connect at a location through messaging rather than doing so face-to-face. to The app is available for download on the Apple App Store.
IU sophomore Jacob Bohrer, an advertising major and founder and marketer of Shmooz, said people are using Shmooz at various bars the app partnered with in Bloomington, such as Yogi’s Bar & Grill, Brothers Bar & Grill and the Social Cantina.
Bohrer said he wondered what it would be like to give people in the same location the option to chat virtually. Bohrer said the most activity the Shmooz business team has seen is from IU freshman students using it to meet people.
Bohrer said the team wants to partner with large venues across the country at sporting events, conventions and trade shows. He said they will expand from Bloomington once they are comfortable with the amount of users they have.
Jesse Abed, Shmooz business partner and Tulane University sophomore finance and management major, said he considers Shmooz to be the first location-based messaging app.
“Location-based messaging is something that was missing from our society,” Abed said. “There’s never been an app that links people to communicate based on where they are, and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish here.”
IU junior Aaron Levine, Shmooz business partner and finance major, said the app is intended for social locations such as bars, restaurants and sporting events. He said it can be helpful during the pandemic because people have different comfortability levels about going up to someone and talking to them.
Levine said one example was freshman students in residence halls finding others to watch the Super Bowl with last February.
“It was a cool little way to meet new people, especially given the unique situation that a lot of freshmen are in this year,” he said.
IU senior Eliana Martin said she uses Shmooz almost every time she goes out.
“I know people sometimes get worried to meet new people and just go up to them,” she said. “I feel like it’s a really useful way to meet new people in a new light.”
Martin said she has made a couple friends using Shmooz at various places in Bloomington. A user can send messages to a location or to a specific person at the location.
“I feel like it’s endless scrolling some places Saturday nights,” Martin said.
She said she sometimes uses the app for safety and checks to see if someone she knows is nearby, so she does not have to walk alone at night.