Students can find friends with new site
At the Pool makes its UCF debut
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 16:08
Finding new friends in a sea of almost 60,000 students on campus can be a daunting task, but a new social media site is here to help. At the Pool is a website designed to pair up students with similar interests and has recently become available for the UCF community.
At the Pool was started in September 2011 by UCLA graduate Alex Capecelatro. The founder and CEO of At the Pool was looking for a way to meet new people, but Facebook wasn’t working for him.
“When you think about what Facebook’s evolved into, it has become a site all about connecting and sharing with your friends and your family,” Capecelatro said. “If you get a new job or you move to a different town, or just have information to share, Facebook’s a great place to share that with your friends and to see what your friends are up to. Today, [Facebook] is pretty terrible for finding new people.
Since Facebook wasn’t helping him, he decided to create his own social media site. He gathered friends from different schools with knowledge in programming and web design and they got to work. Four months later, At the Pool was ready.
At the Pool is designed to help students break out of their social circles and engage with new like-minded peers. The way it does this is by using shared interests, mutual friends and the concept of pools. When a member first signs up, they choose pools they are interested in and the website selects other members to pair them up with.
“The whole site’s built around this notion of pools. You’re joining different pools of interest,” Capecelatro said. “So you might join a pool for say [business economics] and you can meet other people doing business econ stuff. We’re seeing a lot of people who are just trying to find others to play Xbox with and stuff like that.”
At the Pool officially launched at UCLA on Aug. 10, but it has been an active website since January with thousands of members from more than 45 countries. Capecelatro decided to bring this innovation to UCF after he talked with friends who were students at the university.
“They said it would be awesome to have down there. It’s a really cool school and a really cool area and they were the first to start up this year,” Capecelatro said.
UCF students are ready to test the water at this new social media site.
“Facebook is not really great for meeting new people,” said Calvin Hawley, a senior cinema studies major. “Most people find that a little creepy with the whole Facebook stalking.”
Collin McAliley, a sophomore business economics major, is most concerned about the security of social media sites, like Facebook, which allow you to request to add people as friends even though the student may not know the person in real life.
“I wouldn’t say [Facebook] is good for meeting new people necessarily,” McAliley said. “I think I might actually use [At The Pool] as long as there are a few qualifications. … If you had to put in your Knights Mail address to get an account or something like that, then I’d be very likely to use it.”
While At the Pool is invite only, anyone who has a Facebook page can request an invite. Once they have been invited, information from their Facebook page is pulled from Facebook to fill out their profile.
UCF students and faculty can sign up by visiting www.atthepool.com and requesting an invite using “UCF” as their invite code.