bitcafé Reimagines Social Media for Gen Z
Undergrads creating a unique social media app with hyper-expressive, freeform profiles
- Today’s social media platforms fail to create a space for authentic self-expression.
- Lifelong friends Kent and Jake are driven to bring a more fun and expressive social media experience to the world.
- bitcafé is reimagining social media in an all-new, freeform format.
- The app won $1,000 in the February 2023 Little Bang! Pitch + Poster Competition.
Today’s social media platforms are not meeting the needs of Gen Z users.
Their rigid and inflexible formats fail to express the depth and diversity of Gen Z's vivid personality. We want to use apps to connect and share, yet we spend most of our time only consuming. This is because today’s platforms emphasize broadcasting to the widest audience possible to gain likes and followers rather than fostering meaningful interactions and connections.
A 2020 OCAD University research paper found that 73% of Gen Z believe they need more self-expression to live a happy, healthy life. Our customer interviews additionally found that our college peers want more expression, more freedom to create, more space for identity experimentation, and more ways to represent their true selves online.
There is a gap in the market for a platform where you can express yourself in a unique way that feels like you. There is no quick and easy way for you to share while preserving your personality and communicating exactly the way you want to.
We have been friends for more than a decade after meeting in middle school and have always shared a deep passion for design, technology and high-quality product experiences. We’ve collaborated on many software and design projects over the years, landing three first place hackathon prizes as a duo and launching a Mac app together in high school. We chose to join forces as co-founders and begin the journey of launching bitcafé together.
As the “digital native” generation, we grew up thinking social media would be this exciting, interactive and creative place. As kids we heard of platforms like MySpace where your profile page was a fun, chaotic mess.
Yet when we finally got access to social media, all that remained were boring white pages consisting of square photos and short, restricted captions. Nowhere near the fun we were looking forward to, nor “social,” as these places claimed to be. We knew this had to change and we’re making it happen!
What is bitcafé?
bitcafé is a social media platform all about hyper-expressive profiles where you can visually showcase your personality, identity and aesthetic through an all-new freeform format.
Rather than confining users to a short bio and a grid of posts, bitcafé offers a whole new dimension of expression through its unique canvas format. Instead of just brief text thoughts, a photo with a caption or a high-effort video production, you can be your authentic self through a fun and easy to use scrapbook-style interface.
Our Little Bang! experience
We learned a lot participating in the Little Bang! program. Our team received super helpful, constructive feedback from industry mentors at Little Bang!’s “Enrich Your Pitch” mentoring event, helping us effectively iterate on our problem/solution statements. We built valuable communications skills when we practiced condensing our pitch down to 90 seconds for the competition without losing our key points and messaging.
Our next step is the bitcafé soft launch at UC Davis. This beta test will allow us to rapidly gather feedback and iterate on our features and squash bugs before fully launching on campus. We plan on rolling the app out to other college campuses across the country before launching to the public.
Little Bang! is an amazing opportunity where anyone with even just an idea can learn a ton about entrepreneurship with professional feedback and mentorship. We highly recommend the program to anyone with an ambition for entrepreneurship.