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'Whatt' is new on the social media front

Updated 10:36 am, Monday, August 18, 2014

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  • Whatt allows users to update their social network with simple text-based posts. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed / Darien News Contributed

    Whatt allows users to update their social network with simple text-based posts.

    Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed

 

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Whatt, a new social media platform, looks to make connecting and sharing with friends simpler.

Darien native Tripp Schoff, 29, has teamed up with technology veteran Simon Berger-Perrin to launch Whatt.

Schoff spent five years in the financial services industry, now serves as the community manager and is in charge of getting Whatt out to the general public.

Avoiding the clutter of ads on Facebook and Twitter is the aim of Whatt, which was launched July 3 in the iTunes App Store.

Schoff, who graduated from Darien High School in 2003, said he's "overwhelmed" by the content "coming at me" on Facebook and Twitter.

Whatt is a simple way to communicate with close friends, Schoff said. Through the app, users are able to text updates about where they are, find out who is around or seek recommendations through posts that can be seen only by those with whom they choose to connect.

And unlike a group text that ropes a person in without permission, users can opt to join a conversation with close friends on Whatt.

Schoff's sister recently used the app while at a bachelorette party in Nantucket with 12 other women. He said she told him that the app helped to keep everyone stay connected if they became separated during the weekend.

For now, Schoff is marketing the app in targeted areas -- primarily colleges in the Northeast -- but he sees potential at places like major music festivals. Event coordinators, Schoff said, could use the app to let festival-goers know when and where an artist will be playing next.

In the fall, Schoff intends to market the app to colleges like New York University, Penn State and his alma mater, Hobart College, from which he graduated in 2008.

Berger-Perrin spent 12 years running the mobile strategy and business for Meetic, which is now Match.com, and OLX, an "eBay for Europe," Schoff said. Whatt is Berger-Perrin's company.

Whatt has five employees, two of whom are overseas in Romania and Croatia. The company is based out of New York City, Schoff said, though moving to Silicon Valley, the hub of the technology world in California, has not crossed anyone's mind.

"We like New York," Schoff said. "I don't know if the move would be beneficial. The spread of the app is not directly correlated to us being in California."

Work, Schoff said, is a "very relaxed environment."

"But anything can happen on any day."

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews