How many times has this happened?

You’re supposed to meet up with your bestie at Starbucks. You arrive right on time, but you can’t find her. You’re texting back and forth and she swears she’s sitting by the window but you’ve looked by the window and she definitely isn’t there. Finally you give up and give her a call. Turns out there are two Starbucks on the same block! 

Or how about this?

You’re at a party and it was totally sweet but it’s winding down and you want to head to the after party across campus. You try to gather up all your friends because you came together and you want to leave together, but nobody can find Dan. Maybe he just went to get mixers and will be right back, or maybe he’s already at the after party, or maybe he was hit by a bus. What do you do now?

Or, inevitably, this?

Okay, so maybe you drank a little bit too much, but is it your fault the floor is moving around and won’t let you stand on it? The major problem you have now is you can’t really walk, but you also don’t want to go to sleep in the house of someone you barely know. It’s time to ask friends to take you home, but you don’t see them and they’re not responding to your (probably misspelled) texts.

If any or all of these sound familiar, then you need to download bthere. It’s a new app with the simple purpose of solving all the problems associated with trying to round up your friends. That sounds like a pretty lofty goal, but the truth is bthere might have actually succeeded.  It’s a super cute app, with a clean and simple design and some seriously sweet features. Getting started is super easy. You just type in your phone number, it sends you a confirmation text, and you enter that number, pick a profile pic and voila! You’re done!

Photo: iTunes

Photo: iTune

The app syncs up with your contacts and shows you everyone else on bthere. From there you can add people to “circles.” What’s a circle? It’s basically a group chat but with extra sprinkles and a cherry on top. Everyone you add to a circle can message each other. The messaging system comes with the ability to react, Facebook style, to what people have said (except with more options). You can also post photos and emoji. So basically it’s a cute and simple messaging app…right? Wrong! Not only can you message your friends, you can actually see where they are! bthere uses location tracking to show people in the circle where everyone else is! No more losing friends…ever! Everyone shows up on a map with a little pin marking their location. Before you worry, you’re not stuck with that boring pin either. You can choose what symbol represents you on the map. I chose to go with a bright yellow sloth because obviously.

Photo: iTunes

Photo: iTunes

Wait a minute, I hear you cry, just because I chill with someone once doesn’t mean I want them to be able to track where I am forever! Bthere agrees, that would be super creepy, so it set up an option to create circles that last only 24 hours before disappearing. So the people you’re chilling with can find you after you’ve wandered off looking for food, but won’t be able to see where you are the next day. It’s also great for short term group chats. They won’t hang around your inbox forever. Think that’s all? Just wait! There are a couple other handy tricks up bthere’s sleeve. When you tap on someone’s pin, it shows you how much battery they have left so you can see how much time you have to get to them before they drop off the map. Unfortunately this means no more, “Sorry my battery’s about to die!” lies in order to hang up on people, but it does mean your friends can see for themselves that you need to be picked up NOW.

Photo: iTunes

Photo: iTunes

Speaking of, there is one final feature of bthere you should know about: the “Come Get Me” feature. bthere was created by a guy named Ben Johanson after a close friend of his was sexually assaulted.  The app was created as a way to make going out safer for students on college campuses. The “Come Get Me” button is a simple SOS that alerts everyone in a circle that you need help. The app turns bright pink and buzzes to get people’s attention, but since it doesn’t call the cops and it turns back off when you want it to, it can be just as useful for a lower level emergency, like being hit on by a creeper or being too drunk to go home alone. So all in all, why should you get bthere? The truth is, there are apps that do each part of what bthere does already. There are already apps for texting your friends, finding your friends, and alerting your friends. But bthere does all three plus a few useful little extras in a seamless, minimalist and stylish package. It makes things simple and puts all of those capabilities at your fingertips. In short: it’s an app every college girl should download.


Maya Cagan Author: Maya

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