Given the rise of social media, our online networks are becoming more and more complex; different platforms represent different personas but are all still connected to our identity. The idea for FYOUZE came to our team because we wanted a way to ground these different versions of ourselves by keeping all of our social media channels in one place. We also wanted a way to seamlessly connect with other people on multiple platforms which becomes tricky when there are so many that we use on a day-to-day basis.

What it does

FYOUZE is a networking tool in the form of both a web and mobile application that allows people to efficiently expand their social and professional circles and ground their various media platforms. When a user creates a FYOUZE account, they can connect it to their favourite social media apps – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. – so that all of their channels are conveniently grouped in one place. When two users connect on FYOUZE, they can seamlessly add one another on whichever media platforms they choose; this allows them to more effectively build their network and strengthen their relationships. FYOUZE contacts can be categorized into personal and professional connections given the prevalence of business social media accounts today, allowing users to keep their work and social lives separate and preserve their digital identities.

How we built it

The FYOUZE web application uses a series of Python scripts to manage its backend – these handle functionalities like adding users on the selected social media channels, scraping and displaying generic profile information, and more. All of the information is stored on Google Firebase's realtime database and is displayed to the screen with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Bootstrap managing the front-end.

Challenges we ran into

One of the main challenges we ran into was trying to fulfill all of the functionalities we wanted for our application via the APIs of each social media channel. Some of the main features we could not attain directly through the APIs include directly following people on Instagram and viewing other users's Facebook profile information; as a result, we had to find alternative means of carrying out these functionalities which ate a lot of our time. Furthermore, it was difficult connecting the Android application to the web application as the two Firebase database options worked differently with each platform, thus making it difficult to determine the ideal route.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Our team was super excited to try developing on a brand new platform: mobile development with Android Studio! We decided to expand our horizons by creating a service that works across platforms so that it is accessible to as many users as possible. We are also proud of the design of our application and the effort that was put into ensuring the best user experience.

What we learned

In terms of technical skills, we all learned a variety of new technologies – from working with mobile development to connecting applications to a database. In terms of life lessons, we realized how crucial it is to work coherently as a team in order to move forward towards our goal, and that carefully evaluating which frameworks and technologies best suit our vision works best when it occurs prior to actually starting the project.

What's next for FYOUZE

Social media, for many, is becoming part of our identity; yet, we rarely consider what happens to this part of us when we pass; unless we've previously given our credentials to another person, our social media is forever locked away. With FYOUZE, we hope to help users preserve this part of our identity by allowing them add certain individuals as trusted successors to a social media account for when these scenarios arise.

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