By Phillip Lentsch–
Izaak Prats, a computer engineering major at U of L, is the co-founder and CEO of SnapHunt – a platform designed to help streamline the process of finding and interacting with high quality content on Snapchat.
At U of L’s Startup Weekend, Prats’ project ended up winning second place. SnapHunt is currently the largest Snapchat account directory with over 8,000 users. Prats and his co-workers launched SnapHunt on March 14, and the apparatus has grown exponentially since.
“SnapHunt at its basis is a way for users on Snapchat to find other users,” Prats said. “It’s also a way for brands and influencers to get in touch with users on Snapchat because there’s currently no way to do that.”
Out of all the most popular social networks that college students use – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – Snapchat is one of the most personalized. Features like picture/video messaging and Snapchat stories allow for users to get a firsthand glimpse into their friends’ lives. As of May 2015, Snapchat users were sending more than two billion photos and videos per day, and the company has been valued to be worth $10 – 20 billion.
Prats’ goal through creating SnapHunt is to allow for users on Snapchat to find the app more manageable. While it may be easy to send pictures to friends and view celebrities’ stories, one of Snapchat’s biggest drawbacks has been its overcrowded nature – with hundreds of millions of users, it can be difficult to find peoples’ usernames.
“Really what we’re doing is mimicking the ‘Discover’ page on Instagram, and bringing it to Snapchat. We have tags associated with each user, and over time we track who you’re following on Snapchat in order for us to locate people near you that you can be friends with on there,” Prats said.
Prats and SnapHunt have been generating a lot of interest out West as well. According to Prats, his startup has caught the attention of multiple investors and tech companies in Silicon Valley. He plans to continue improving it as the summer goes on, and hopes to see it develop into a major addition to Snapchat.
“Now that more people are using SnapHunt and there is a higher value for others to sign up, we can add even more tags to it, such as first name, last name, city, college and more,” Prats said.
SnapHunt’s website is trysnaphunt.co/uofl.
Photo by Kyeland Jackson / The Louisville Cardinal