The short-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated headlines over the past couple of years. Outrage over restrictions on public life has made up many of the top stories in popular media and forms a key part of people’s understanding of the crisis’ effects. In contrast, the reality of the social shift caused by the pandemic is being felt by communities that are often ignored by the mainstream narrative. Groups who had social interaction at their core now feel that life may never fully return to normal.
@giuseppeantinoro_, who co-founded @hoodaapp, believes he has found a way to fight the social lag that groups in universities now face. The self–described ‘social network’ launched to the App Store and Google Play in early 2022 and has all the finesse of a triple A service but with a single-minded focus on the student community. Hooda’s co-founders, Antinoro and close friend Ross, identified that student social groups were still failing to develop organically in the pandemic’s wake. Understanding the value that a digital solution could give the tech generation, the pair began work on a service with post-pandemic student life in mind.
At present, attendees of Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds in the UK can sign up to Hooda. However, in the near future, Giuseppe and Ross hope to roll out the app to more institutions across the world. Students can register using a university email address and link their social media accounts to their profile, which can then be viewed by other users in the vicinity in real time. The requirement for an academic sign-up email and the real-time functionality are both critical preventative methods against fraudulent behavior.
Hooda’s co-founders are well aware of the sheer prominence of loneliness in universities. Motivated to combat the rise, Hooda’s co-founders begin the exciting roll-out of an application that could become the go-to service for interaction-hungry students.