Stellenbosch students (App)ly themselves

Cell phones are important to Stellenbosch students. In fact, out of 50 students, 36% say that they spend a minimum of 4-5 hours daily on their devices. Much of this time is spent using applications (apps).

GRAPHIC BY: Paula-Ann Smit

GRAPHIC BY: Paula-Ann Smit

MatieMedia investigated these students’ app-using habits. We also spoke to campus’ very own app developers from Wilgenhof residence. This is what we found:

The most used app among these students is WhatsApp, with 68% of the vote. Although this messaging service is useful to students, it is not necessarily their favourite app. Instead, the first prize went to Instagram, with 50% of the vote. Not a fan of this online photo sharing platform? See if your app preference made the top-five list:

Stellenbosch students prefer to spend their money on other leisure activities, as 70% say that they will never pay to download an App. The students that do make room for apps in their budgets choose to pay for music through Apple Music.

GRAPHIC BY: Paula-Ann Smit

GRAPHIC BY: Paula-Ann Smit

Students creating apps

In 2015, three Wilgenhof students, Michael-John Dippenaar, Henri Bam, and Michael Louis, decided to create an app to solve one of the biggest problems that Stellenbosch students face: storage.

According to Dippenaar, the CEO,  “having to move out of res is a tedious process and we thought that there has to be a better way.”

Shortly after, the Sxuirrel app was born.

This app is available for free download. It brings together people looking for space and people offering space for temporary storage. This is an ideal platform for students who have to stow their items during holiday breaks.

The Sxuirrel app includes options to find parking space for cars and also supplies packaging material and delivery and pick-up services.

Louis focusses on more technical aspects, Bam runs logistics, such as managing deliveries, and Dippenaar is the face of the company, and head of marketing.

“Tongue-in-cheek, we would like to be thought of as the Airbnb for storage and space solutions,” says Dippenaar.

In September 2017, the company secured funding of R2.4 million and the trio have plans to expand the app to include corporate space solutions and insurance services.

“While the app is currently only available on iOS, we are developing one for Android platforms, and have re-launched our website,” says Dippenaar. – Welile Makena and Paula-Ann Smit

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