The noise surrounding COVID-19 has often been laden with headlines about the short-term impact at stake. While many western governments introduced restrictions on the lives and livelihoods of their citizens, media outlets sensationalized people’s immediate cravings, such as a forbidden trip abroad or to the local bar. But the long-term societal change at play is often ignored by key policymakers. For communities already sensitive to mental health threats, a return to normal life could be years in the making.
@giuseppeantinoro_, the co-founder of @hoodaapp, believes he has found a way to simplify the social complexities encountered by the student community. Hooda launched to the App Store and Google Play in early 2022 and behaves with students and their interests at heart. Antinoro’s app also looks to improve on the likes of Happn to focus less on relationships and more on the natural formation of social groups. A humble undertone is found in Hooda’s aim to tackle the loneliness crisis and offer a solution to students whose mental health has suffered during the pandemic.
Hooda is currently available to students at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds in the UK, but has ambitions to expand in the near future. New users must register using an academic email address and can then link their social media accounts for complete transparency with other users. Hooda’s USP is that it allows students to find other users in their area in real time. This focused approach promises a rapid process for those in need of in-person socialization.
Above all else, Hooda has the potential to bridge the gap between online and face-to-face interactions left by the pandemic. Provoked by alarming loneliness statistics, the app’s founders are driven to rectify the long-term impact of COVID-19 on student social circles. With this noble aspiration in mind, Antinorro could be at the precipice of a revolutionary social media innovation.