The new tech company Whowish has launched itself by offering a Facebook application aimed at helping college students on shoe-string budgets trade for products and services instead of buying them. The app though is not only for swapping stuff. University students with a little money to spend or who want to make some extra cash can buy and sell things like textbooks, used laptops, old mobile phones, and other items that they might have lying around their dorm rooms, apartments, or off-campus houses.
CollegeSwap could be an useful Facebook application for incoming freshman who need to furnish their living spaces or outgoing seniors who want to get rid of things like old sofas and refrigerators. In addition, students who are experts at tough subjects like advanced mathematics or a foreign language might find CollegeSwap useful for selling or bartering tutoring services. In fact, I would imagine that there is any number of ways a student with an entrepreneurial spirit could use CollegeSwap to make money.
While many Facebook applications seem to be thrown together every week, WhoWish seems to have spent quite some time developing CollegeSwap and its sister Facebook app SwapSquare (which is for everyone on Facebook). The application is pretty intuitive and easy to follow. For CollegeSwap, all a user has to do is enter the name of their school and then they can begin posting things that they want or have to trade, all of which shows up in a live feed for that school. SwapSquare operates the same way, except that posts are organized by the user’s zip code.
Whowish was obviously aware that Facebook users have some privacy concerns and wouldn’t want to be sharing all their contact info with someone simply because they want to buy or swap for an iPhone, so an inbox is incorporated into the Facebook app which helps users keep track of offers and gives them a way to provide whatever contact info they choose to other users of CollegeSwap.
If enough students start using CollegeSwap, it is an e-commerce application that could really take off and could be an attractive alternative to sites like eBay and Craigslist. Since the app has just been launched, it is only at the very beginning stage of attracting users. However, if you are a college student now with a wide network of Facebook friends, CollegeSwap makes it easy for you to announce to them on your FB Wall and News Feed what you want to buy, sell, and swap. So, the chances of people quickly getting involved in using this Facebook application seem pretty strong.