2/19/16 Yarkin Jakucoglu, Alihan Ozbayrak

Yarkin Sakucoglu, a sophomore in computer information technology, and Alihan Ozbayrak, a senior in computer science, have developed Socio, an app designed to connect users through multiple social networks instantaneously via smartphones.

No matter the year, a simple handshake is powerful, said the co-founder of a social media application.

Yarkin Sakucoglu, a sophomore in computer information technology, developed an app called Socio with Alihan Ozbayrak, a senior in computer science and construction engineering management. Owned by Turkish company Socio Labs Ltd. and part of Purdue Foundry and the Silicon Valley Boilermaker Innovation Group, Socio introduces the concept of a “digital handshake” by allowing people to use each others’ social media accounts to connect with one another.

“I describe it as a social network for social networks,” Sakucoglu said.

To use Socio, all you have to do is create a profile on the app with all your social media accounts and search for and connect with other people who use it. However, the main difference between this app and others is the “digital handshake,” which is represented by shaking your phone with other people at the same time. By doing that, you can add each other to your contacts list in any social media site connected to Socio.

“If I want to follow them on Instagram, I can follow them on Instagram. If I want to export all of their information to my contacts list, I can click on the exports box,” Sakucoglu said, while demonstrating how the app works.

According to Ozbayrak, another key advantage of this app is you can connect with at least 500 people at a time, providing that all 500 people shake their phone at the same time.

“We have connected with 500 people (in the same room) before,” Ozbayrak said.

Sakucoglu came up with the idea in high school back in his home country, Turkey, when he was volunteering at a networking event. The participants were supposed to exchange social media accounts for an activity, and since this took such a long time, Sakucoglu wanted to come up with a different and better way to connect with people. It wasn’t until after his time in Boiler Gold Rush, when his team leader sent out her many social media accounts through his team’s GroupMe chat, that he decided to follow through with his idea.

“The point of BGR is to make connections with people,” Sakucoglu said. “I remember it was 3 a.m. and I get a message from my team leader saying, ‘Hey here’s my Instagram, my Facebook, and here’s my Twitter,’ and they were all different usernames.”

Sakucoglu then met Ozbayrak while flying from Istanbul, Turkey, to Chicago and exchanged ideas for this app. They, along with a few other people, developed the app after a Hack-a-Thon event. At that time, they didn’t come up with shaking the phone, but they were still mind-blown at what their program could do.

The app was first marketed in this year’s BGR through fliers and other advertising efforts, and in less than a week, the app received about 1,500 users. Then, because Sakucoglu and Ozbayrak were familiar with the Turkish market, the app was marketed in Turkey.

According to Ozbayrak, Turkey is one of the top countries that uses social media where “people make countless connections every day. It’s also denser compared to the U.S., where the app may be big in Indiana but maybe not California.” In less than 15 days, Socio obtained nearly 10,000 users and was one of the top 10 media applications in seven different countries.

Both Sakucoglu and Ozbayrak are focusing on growing their user base by raising enough funding to go on every media outlet. They are also looking to expand their team by hiring growth hackers “who really believe in the mission, the idea.”

For more information about this app, visit atsocio.com. The app is currently available on iOS and Android devices.

“Our mission is simple – to provide maximum connection with minimum hassle,” Sakucoglu said. “As our slogan says, connecting with people is just a phone shake away.”

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