Zondr helps over 10,000 students in Illinois discover places and events

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A social network that starts at a university campus, is initially exclusive to students, and grows rapidly from day one to become a huge success: all this sounds like you’ve heard it before, right? Except this time we’re not talking about Facebook. Meet Zondr: the coolest kid on the block at University of Illinois.

Zondr has deployed Estimote Beacons at small businesses around the University of Illinois campus. Thanks to that, the app automatically checks the users who opt in for the geolocation features in a bar, club, or restaurant they’re visiting. And because Zondr fetches social data from Facebook’s API, it’s easy to look up where your friends are having fun. Users can also share photos and videos taken at parties, so you never miss out on the coolest stuff happening around the Urbana-Champaign campus.

How do people like Zondr at University of Illinois? Well, it went viral to say the least. The app has taken the campus by storm, growing from 0 to 5,000 users in a first month, and doubilng this number to 10,000 shortly after: it’s 30% of all bar-eligible students. Initially, only about 20% users would take advantage of beacon-based check-ins. It has quickly grown to 50%, and the first 2,000 users to enable it generated over 20,000 check-ins.

Zondr has started with using beacons to simplify check-in process and make it easier for students to find out where their friends are having fun at the campus. The feature has proven so successful, that now they’re preparing to add more funcionalities based on microlocation. Soon business owners will be able to offer Zondr users special offers, coupons and loyalty programs through the app.

Now, it’s time to growth from ten thousand to one billion. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before, right?

Want to see more examples of iBeacon changing how social apps work? Take a look at how BLINQ generated 300,000 beacon interactions to determine what's the hottest club in Zurich.

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