Dive Chat, a new student start up and group chat messaging app for students, was launched on Aug. 1 at Stony Brook University. The app had a slow start up, due to technical issues that were resolved mid-September.
According to its LinkedIn profile, the app breaks down groups of people into multiple chats, helping students to stay organized and keep track of their notifications. It also features event management and tracking, in which social groups can congregate, plan and execute programs and events.
“It is an app made by students for students,” Vivianne Huang, Dive Chat’s campus manager and a sophomore business management major, said.
Ka Ho Cao, a sophomore biochemistry major, came across Dive Chat through LinkedIn when they were actively looking for ambassadors to promote the new start up.
“As a student that lost out on in-person internship and volunteer positions due to the pandemic, this was the perfect opportunity for me to stay productive,” Cao said.
Cao is Dive Chat’s campus recruitment manager, which makes him responsible for interviewing prospective ambassadors and briefing them on the platform’s mission. He also co-leads new recruitment sessions alongside the campus manager to build the member profile.
The feature “Let’s Hang” allows groups to view time slots when members are available. Cao said this is his favorite feature because he can schedule meetings with groups.
“It eliminates a lot of the hassle tied to planning hangouts and lets members decide on the optimal time to socialize,” he said.
The platform also combines the two applications Slack and Discord, which both use channel-based communications. Slack is geared towards professional use, while Discord is often used for online gaming. Dive Chat is a medium between the two and is catered specifically to the student population, including Greek life, classes, clubs and casual conversations, Cao said.
“Dive Chat is a one stop shop that allows better communication for students. It’s a channel based messaging platform with events integration,” Janet Chow, a freshman journalism major and Dive Chat’s social media manager, said. “The platform targets large clubs and organizations and helps better organize events in a more efficient manner.”
Several other universities also launched Dive Chat on Aug. 1, including Binghamton University, Baruch College and Arizona State University.
Although no clubs have officially joined, Dive Chat currently has 20 clubs interested in using the platform and has about 30 campus ambassadors that are working to contact more organizations and clubs on campus.
Amy Ngo, a junior chemistry major and president of the Stony Brook chapter of SASE, used the app frequently when it first launched.
“I like the aesthetic of it, where it’s really user friendly,” Ngo said. She said she believes that Dive Chat is more inviting than Slack and Discord. “Discord has more of a gamer vibe while Slack is usually meant for professional communities, so having Dive Chat as an open space for any type of group you’re looking for is great.”
The Instagram account @divechatsbu currently has about 907 followers and aims to reach 1,500 followers by December 2020.
“I think that Dive Chat is going to be a great way for students to connect during the semester, even if it is a mostly remote one,” Huang said. “SBU organizations are still having events and hosting meetings, and although most of them are online, Dive Chat can help create these events and share them to other students.”