Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and chief executive of Facebook, Inc., is estimated to be worth $19.8 billion. All from a web application he launched in his room at Harvard.
Zuckerberg’s story has amazed people across the globe. However, he is not the only one launching brilliant programs behind closed doors of a crowded room in a classic residence hall.
As a junior biology major from Burr Ridge, Ill., Conor Salvino may look like a pretty average St. Ambrose student. But there’s more to Salvino than his prestigious plans to apply to medical school next year. He is a co-owner of one of the youngest social networks on the web, Zaptones.
“We are hoping Zaptones will one day be the top social media application,” Salvino said. “It offers something Facebook and Twitter can’t- honest communication.”
Zaptones started nearly a year ago as an idea of Salvino’s older brother Ryan and his roommate, Brian Padoff, during their junior years at Butler University. The friends wished Facebook and Twitter would allow people to share song quotes. Soon after, the roommates decided to create a solution.
Zaptones is a social network that brings music and photo sharing together in one place. It creates a sense of combination of the most popular current platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Users create Zapshots, an uploaded photo complemented by an audio clip. Zaptones’ extensive audio library, complete with audio clips from music, movies, and television, is updated on a daily basis. Users can then tag and share these photos either privately or publicly.
“The web app has two main tabs, Quotes and Zapshots. This gives users easy access to the music quote library and three active Zapshot feeds,” Salvino said. “The three main feeds are Everyone, Following, and Popular. Users can then view and listen to Zapshots from people around the world or just those they are following.”
The application was launched at the end of September. Since then, the site has had more than 2,000 unique visitors.
After developing Zaptones and recognizing its potential success, the creators decided to create a small army of co-owners, hopeful this would bring more achievements. Conor Salvino was named one of the co-owners, along with eight other undergraduate students around the nation.
“We are each given a specific job through the week to help maintain and innovate the company,” Salvino said. “Meetings are held once a week on Google+ Hangouts where we discuss future business decisions.”
Originally, this small group of undergraduate students were dedicated enough to use their own money to help the business take off. But an investor, whose name must remain withheld for the time being, discovered the application and has recently agreed to purchase the app and work with these students.
Zaptones’ slogan is “Say It With Music.” Salvino explained the power of Zaptones, as music always speaks volumes. Looking at Facebook statuses and Tweets, those that include song lyrics typically have the most responses. Salvino is hopeful the St. Ambrose community is able to experience the unique application and appreciate the creativity and hard-work behind it.
“The Zaptones idea has come such a long way,” Salvino said. “We are now in the process of making a native mobile app.”
For more information and to create an account, visit http://www.zaptones.com.