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Polling? There’s an app for that

Seniors create social-media tool available through iPhone App Store

Musical artist Macklemore is not the only creative mind to fi nd inspiration and success while visiting a thrift shop. Last November when Nick Moore spent an afternoon sorting through “your grandad’s clothes,” he chose not to write a song. Instead, the sight of his friend unable to choose between the two shirts that he held in each hand gave Moore an idea.

“I see people doing that on Facebook all the time,” Moore said, referring to his friend’s indecisive behavior. “I immediately thought, ‘Hey, this could be an app, but no one has actually gone through with (creating) it.’”

With the help of his friend Anton Nicola, a senior communication major, Moore’s whimsical thought evolved into a tangible product. Pic&Click was released for consumer use through the App Store this past Saturday, Oct. 5.

The social networking application is based around communication through polls and has a mixture of similarities from other popular social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Users create a profi le and can communicate with those that follow them by voting on and posting polls. Each user’s profi le will show everything that they have posted and voted on in the past. There is also a feed that shows which polls are trending during any given time.

Users are not limited to posting textbased polls. Photos can be uploaded and voted on as well. Each poll can include up to four customizable choices for users to vote on, giving Pic&Click consumers the ability to learn and share opinions on any given subject. The app is also free of advertisements because Nicola feels they are the downfall of so many other apps.

Coming up with the idea to create a mobile phone application is one thing. Putting in a year’s worth of work to create it is an entirely different process. After his epiphany at the second-hand clothing shop, Moore met with Nicola at Miller’s Ale House. What started out as a casual night at a sports bar quickly turned into an exciting brain-storming session full of drawings and concept maps. The two Florida Gulf Coast University students were not familiar with the development process behind creating a new application, so Nicola decided to do some research.

“Most people have [an] idea but they don’t do anything because they don’t have the skill or time to do it,” Nicola said. “And we were like, ‘Okay, let’s outsource it.’ I researched the top 25 app developers and all [of them] are in like, Los Angeles, China, and India. And then I see Wellington, Florida, and I was just like, ‘I live in Wellington! It’s a sign! We’ve got to do it.’”

This past January, Nicola and Moore contacted Blue Whale App Development. Within one month, the contract had been signed and the two entrepreneurs were finished laying out their ideas. In May, Blue Whale developers had started the coding process, making the app that Nicola and Moore had seen in their heads a reality.

When the creators were satisfied with their product, Pic&Click was sent to Apple in September. It was promptly rejected because it did not have any sort of explicit content flagging system. This did not discourage either creator.

“It’s really been such a learning experience,” Nicola said.

After a quick adjustment, the app was sent back to Apple a second time. No longer missing any vital settings, Pic&Click became available for consumer download this past weekend. The free app is currently only available to those with iPhones.

“We’ve learned so much about marketing and the business perspective,” Moore said. “Even though we aren’t business majors, I think that we are better off than anyone in Lutgert right now. Not many students our age are gonna take the risk and do something different.”

Both students have big hopes for how their app can be used.

“We want to implement social change and influence,” Moore said. “It could really be used for any situation. Anything.”

The two explained that although their app can be used for smaller, trivial polls, such as deciding between a couple of shirts at a thrift shop, it can also be used to make a difference among cultures. One example that Moore used was that of Student Government at FGCU.

“Student Government has so much money, but it is only a select group of people choosing what we do with it,” Moore said. “Why can’t we post questions and give the students choices? It would make such a difference and bring the school spirit up.”

Other ideas are also in the works for the app, all of which Nicola and Moore are keeping under wraps for the time being. However, the two do not plan to continue working in the app business forever. Both see themselves experimenting with different ideas after graduation, even hoping to have the rights to their app bought out by investors.

“I’m an entrepreneur,” Moore said. “I want to dabble in a little bit of everything. I just don’t want to work a regular nine-to-five. We just wanted to be different and not take the normal route. You don’t learn that way.”

Nicola plans to leave Fort Myers upon his graduation in the spring, hoping to end up in New York or another big city. He feels that sticking with one business for too long can be more harmful than helpful. Nicola is not going to let that be his problem.

“Everyone is scared to do things,” Nicola said. “They’re scared to be successful, they’re scared to they’re gonna fail.”

Visit www.picandclickapp.com to download the app or click this Itunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pic-click-social-polling/id704625885?ls=1&mt=8

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