Putting the 'social back in social media' with Hop Over
By Haeley DiRisio
(Affiliate disclosure: Bilal Qadar, founder of Hop Over, is af liated with one of our contributors, Rameesha Qazi.)
Bilal Qadar was searching for a solution when he began creating the app Hop Over. Qadar was looking for a social media platform that “puts its users at the center.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Qadar brought together a team to design a social media app that is “private, intuitive and intelligent.”
As a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, Qadar has a degree in computer science and math. He currently works for an organization creating coding curriculums for underprivilged people.
While working from home during the pandemic, Qadar was getting bored of sitting around. That's when his plans for Hop Over really began taking off.
Qadar said, “A lot of social media platforms are advertised as free, although they actually aren’t. So these companies are often harvesting your data and then selling them off to providers, whether this be ad agencies or other people.” Privacy is at the core of Hop Over’s foundation and something that Qadar believes should be at the forefront when designing a social media app.
Hop Over is different from social media apps, Qadar said.
“[It] is designed in such a way that we don’t want you to spend all of your time on our app," he said.
Hop Over wants its users to use the app to communicate with their friends and also give them the ability to nd local events so that they can interact face to face. It also allows for virtual interactions through calling. Hop Over’s goal isn’t to be an app that people spend hours scrolling on but rather an app users can use everyday just to chat. Hop Over wants to “put the social back in social media.”
Users will have the ability to interact with people they know, as well as having the assurance that their private data is protected. Users will also be able to create events or search for local events such as concerts or restaurant openings.
“If they’re bored they can just go on Hop Over and nd something to do locally or something that aligns with their interests," Qadar said.
The app is set to launch in Canada, specifically in Ontario in late 2020, with the goal to eventually be used everywhere. Hop Over wants to be accessible for anyone to use at any age, expecting in the beginning to appeal to a demographic in their “upper twenties, thirties and forties.”