New Student-Created App Aims To Redefine Social Media

As social media has infiltrated the workplace, the home, the political sphere and elsewhere, it has become a staple of people’s personal lives as well as their identities. Nick Marblestone, a junior studying video editing, hopes to introduce positive changes to the current social media culture through the creation of his new app, Candid.  

“Candid is a photo sharing social media app that eliminates clout,” Marblestone said. “There’s no way for anyone to have clout on Candid. It’s an app where you can never post photos to your own profile … only your friends can post pictures to your profile and you can post pictures to theirs.”

Candid, as the name implies, is inspired by the style of photographs taken informally and without the subject’s knowledge. The app aims to channel this mindset into the way users interact with the platform, opening the door for users to take a more carefree approach to their accounts without the pressure of trying to construct a perfect social image.

The app acts as a platform for users to support and celebrate their friends. Users can take photos of friends, send them to a friend’s queue and leave it up to that friend to decide whether or not to share the photo. In the same way, photos taken of oneself will be sent to the personal queue, giving him or her the option to either add them to the profile or remove them.

In his time at Liberty, Marblestone has embarked on many travels during which he would frequently capture moments of his friends, wishing he could share them without the hassle of sharing on iCloud to a large group or posting on Instagram and having to tag so many people. 

“We would always upload the photos we got of one another, and then we would all go through this process of downloading them and sharing them to our own Instagram,” Marblestone said. “And I just kept thinking, isn’t there a way I could just post my own pictures I got of my friends to their account?”

Users post pictures of a person to that person’s Candid profile.

After Marblestone reached out to a developer in California, the app was on its way to completion. Four months later, the app launched on April 24, ready for curious users who wanted to pursue the future of social media. Marblestone said that he wanted Candid to be the new avenue through which people could share their photos while simultaneously avoiding the toxicity social media can pose.

“Being candid is really the driving force behind the app. It’s there to remind people of real life,” Marblestone said. “There are no follower counts, no like counts and no comments … the overarching goal of the app is to get people to stop taking social media so seriously.”

Candid allows users to embrace photos that embody how life truly is: unposed and not always planned.

“People are posting the most weird, absurd and unpolished pictures I’ve ever seen so freely, and it blows my mind,” Marblestone said. “My biggest hope was that audiences would engage differently with Candid, and they already are … more so than I ever thought possible.”

After creating four other apps that did not quite take off, Marblestone said he believes this app is his creative breakthrough. 

“God has made all of this happen,” Marblestone said. “There are things that are just falling into my lap and the past apps I have put so much more effort into never gained traction like this … and God is just absolutely having his way, and this is his thing that I hope will encourage his children.”

Candid already has a multitude of people engaging with the app. However, in order to accommodate its growth, an update is scheduled so that Candid can run smoothly.  

“It’s on its way to being functional with higher volumes, but there is a big update coming May 4 that is going to improve it drastically,” Marblestone said. “Notifications are getting updated, the profile page will get updated, all the bugs are getting fixed.”

In addition to these updates, there will also be many feature updates, such as the in-app camera flash and zoom. Users will now be able to upload multiple photos from their cameras to share to a friend’s queue instead of uploading one at a time. 

“Such a fun app… and an awesome way to show your friends how important they are to you through random photos you take of them,” one anonymous Candid user wrote in the app reviews. “This is the future of social media.”

Jessi Green is the Feature Editor. Follow her on Twitter @jessigreen0.

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