Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Are you DownTo… download DownTo?

DownTo+allows+students+across+campus+to+connect+with+one+another+and+make+plans+at+the+touch+of+just+a+few+buttons.
Illustration by June Woo
DownTo allows students across campus to connect with one another and make plans at the touch of just a few buttons.

A new app crops up on campus what seems like every day, with ambassadors posting promotional Instagram stories and tabling in odd nooks and crannies of Norris University Center. The latest addition to the cyber-campus scene is DownTo — an app designed to make meeting up with friends on campus easier. 

“We came up with this idea of like, ‘Okay, your core group of best friends are only a subset of the people that you know on campus, so what if we could build a product where you can tell all of your close friends and also all of the other people that you know on campus, ‘This is what I’m doing,’’” said DownTo CEO Caroline Ingeborn.

Much like Fizz — the private campus-specific social platform that took off among Northwestern students last year — DownTo’s team also restricts its platform to verified students with .edu emails. As stated in its FAQ section, the app is “strictly no randos.”

Weinberg sophomore Asha Reddy said she could see herself using the app.

“It’s more of a social app compared to Fizz and Yik Yak, but I think they create a community especially for Northwestern students, so that’s a perk of it,” Reddy said. “It seems like a good way to make plans and hang out with people that you might not usually hang out with.” 

The app allows students across campus to connect with one another and make plans at the touch of a few buttons. On the app’s main page, students select from a list of four options indicating  the activity they are “down to” do, where they would like to meet up, with whom and when. The app also features campus and Evanston-specific locations like Allison dining hall and 10Q Chicken.

Pressing the “I’m Down!” button at the bottom of the page sends out a notification to the “Activity @Northwestern” page, letting other users know that students are available for the activity they have specified.

DownTo currently has six campus ambassadors listed on its Instagram page, along with two lead NU ambassadors. 

All eight of the ambassadors are current students who organize events for DownTo — like a recent free beer and hotdog event in partnership with D&D Finer Foods — and post about the app on social media. 

“At first, everything is difficult … with people joining and getting used to how (the app is) being used, but I think it has so much potential,” said McCormick junior Caroline DeRose, a DownTo ambassador. 

Because the app is so new, DeRose says there are still improvements to be made.

While some see the app’s potential, others, like SESP and Weinberg sophomore Zoe Lively, are more hesitant about its ability to integrate into the campus’s fabric. 

“I didn’t feel relevant to it,” Lively said. “I think it’s a really good way for freshmen to meet people, and people were posting a lot during Wildcat Welcome, but I feel established in my friend groups, and I’m not looking to meet a bunch of new people all at once.”

DownTo is currently being rolled out at other college campuses like the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa. While there is still a long road ahead for DownTo, Ingeborn said she is excited to continue engaging with the app. 

“All of these micromoments in our everyday (life) will increase that serendipity so that we spend more moments together with friends and friends of friends in real life, and our social circles can expand, and there’s no social anxiety,” Ingeborn said. “That’s real success for me.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @TabithaParent12

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