Spray is a brand new messaging application that lets you send messages to users all around you (called “hyperlocal” messaging). Using hyperlocal messaging, you can network more locally and find like-minded people who are not just random contacts you don’t know, but contacts you can get to know.
Spray lets you send real-time information with locals, giving you the opportunity to plan a party with local students like yourself, send out a fundraiser announcement to support a local charity, find businesspeople to coordinate and plan meetings with, and an endless number of other uses.
I had the opportunity to interview Spray Networks COO Bo Larsson on the app’s focus, features, and future:
- What is the main focus of the Spray app?
- The Spray app allows users to send hyperlocal messages to other users within 1,000 feet (called the Spraydius), enabling them to seek out and share real-time information with others – all without the need for email addresses, social media handles, phone numbers or personal contact details.
- Spray users can explore new communities, stay updated on local events, connect with and meet new people, and interact in real time with the nearby crowd to discover new trends and ideas.
- Spray is a part of the growing trend of messaging apps overtaking social media as the primary method of social communication on mobile devices
- How does the Spray messaging app differ from the messaging competition?
- Spray is most beneficial when serving as a catalyst for further exploration and connection with a user’s current environment using the app’s hyperlocal messaging feature.
- Spray helps bypass the increasingly prevalent awkwardness of face to face introductions with meeting new people, giving users a more familiar, safe platform to initiate conversations.
- Spray has potential to become an inventive, streamlined medium of communication useable by communities, event organizers, small business, colleges and high schools.
- What are some of the app’s standout features?
- Spray is truly a hyperlocal app as it only sends messages to those in the user’s immediate vicinity who are most likely sharing similar experiences.
- Spray can be used in a variety of ways by different types of people:
- Businesses reach out to customers in their community with specials, discounts, or other exclusive offers;
- College students, faculty and staff can easily spread information about campus events, course content and administrative messages. Students especially benefit from how easy it is to meet new people by using the app without having to meet them face to face at first.
- Neighborhoods can send out alerts, emergency information, or neighborhood concerns
- During events, festivals or concerts, Spray can act as a real-time messaging feed, offering live commentary and feedback.
- Users only need a phone number to authenticate their Spray account. Spray does not decide who can meet based on mutual friends or shared interests. By forgoing profiles, Spray makes communication easily accessible to everyone. Users are free to engage in a safe environment.
- What are some features you would like to add to the app in the future?
- Spray will include a video feature on the platform within the next few months, allowing users to share thoughts and ideas in a more interactive and engaging format.
Spray was recently deployed at the University of San Francisco campus and its adaptability allowed for it to be used at USF in a variety of ways. For instance, incoming freshmen used the app to ask questions during the first week of classes, and received real-time responses from other students, RAs, or faculty members. RAs answered questions, sent information about upcoming events, and provided safety tips and precautions without the need to arrange a meeting, while students arranged study groups, invited others to social events and created interest groups all in real-time. Professors and faculty disseminated course-related content, logistical information and news on the spot.
Spray entered into partnerships with several events this summer including Phono del Sol, Music City’s Battle of the Bands and Scene Unseen IV, which helped enhance the festival experience in several ways. Musicians who performed at the festivals used Spray to share exclusive content and limited releases to the crowd, creating intimate, real-time performer-to-fan experiences.
Spray not only allowed artists to interact with fans and gave them access to exclusive content with them that can only be received as artists “Sprayed” them into the crowd. Band members utilized Spray as a social tool to network, collaborate and grow their local fan base.
Spray can be downloaded via iTunes and Google Play. Regarding a Windows Phone version, Larsson said it would be “essential for Spray to plan out a version that fits into this operating system.” Larsson did say that a version was “absolutely” in the pipeline, but no specifics on any release time frame were given. For now, Spray is focused with optimizing iOS and Android versions for users to “get the best real-time experience possible.”