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Vicksburg brothers develop new app

Vicksburg natives Anthony and Arkeem Gibson have made it their mission to solve the problem of awkward social interactions between people with nothing in common.

The brothers, who are both students at Mississippi State University after graduating, have developed a new app called Vaam that allows users to quickly and easily chat with people nearby with similar interests.

The app allows people to post content that is interesting to them and then message people that have similar likes and interests.

“Vaam is an open space for people to post daily and current content,” Anthony said. “It is also a space where people can connect in a free and open way and helps people to break the ice easier than walking up to and talking to someone in person.”

When users log in, a directory of nearby people that have discoverability turned on will populate. Users can then look for people whose previous posts or identified interests are in common with their own and strike up a conversation.

“What we are trying to accomplish is we want people to be able to interact with each other without having to physically go and speak with them,” Anthony said. “With Vaam, I will have the opportunity to go and message somebody that may have similar interests as me.”

There will also be the ability to rate restaurants and participate in open conversations on the app’s message boards. The app will search for people that are no more than 20 miles away enabling you to tailor the conversation to your specific community.

“It also has a live message board where people in a community such as Vicksburg can give their opinions on restaurants and politicians and give insight on what the community thinks,” Arkeem said.

You will also have the ability to add badges to your profile for groups you belong to such as fraternities or sororities that will enable you to identify people with similar backgrounds and interests as you. 

Instead of a traditional bio, users will have the ability to choose colors to display behind their usernames to describe their personality. For instance, having red and yellow means that you are laidback, but outgoing.

The brothers plan to launch the app in the Apple app store in mid-May. Their goal is to promote the app at MSU and target the incoming freshmen class who can then use it to find likeminded people in unfamiliar surroundings.

“When school starts and people come here to Mississippi State, we want it to be out so we can promote it to those freshmen coming here in the summer and they can give it to their friends,” Arkeem said.

They spent almost a year building the code from the ground up and hope to have the kinks worked out before the full freshmen class starts arriving on campus in August.