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The Paly Voice

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The Paly Voice

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APPetite: Spindle, the selfish app

Last week, Stanford alumni and founders of social app Spindle, Amanda Lin and Alex Walker, visited The Paly Voice to talk about Spindle and its goal of being a “selfish app.” Photo by Cooper Lou.

Do you want to journal your life? Are you tired of traditional social media sites? If so, Stanford alumni and founders of the social app Spindle, Alex Walker and Amanda Lin, may have a solution for you. The two visited The Paly Voice last week to talk about Spindle and its goal of being a “selfish app.”

Although at first glance, Spindle may seem to resemble other social apps like Instagram and Twitter, its overarching goals are different.

“A lot of current social media revolve around people creating an image of themselves,” Lin said. “We wanted people to have a space to allow them to be themselves and document their lives. [Spindle’s like a personal] journal, that also allows people to share certain entries.”

Through their application, Walker and Lin seek to emulate real life conversations and discussions.

“In life, people have different friend groups,” Lin said. “Something you share with one group might not be what you want to share with another. With Spindle, you get to choose what to share with each group. There’s no friending on Spindle and the recipient of every entry, [if you choose to share it,] is dependent on you.”

Walker and Lin founded Spindle after meeting at Stanford University.

“We went to Stanford together and graduated in 2013,” Walker said. “We became really good friends in freshmen year and started Spindle when we graduated. Stanford taught us that it was okay to go for something since the people around you are constantly taking these risks. You’re taught that anything is possible. Together, we’ve been working on this for a little over nine months.”

According to Lin, she and Walker used their experience with product design, computer science, symbolic systems and design to build their app from scratch.

Spindle co-founder Amanda Lin’s joy at climbing to the top of Half Dome turned into fear when she thought she would fall off when jumping for a photo. According to Walker, this photo captures the essence of Spindle. “We want to give people a way to save the best stuff and time travel back to it later,” Lin said. Photo courtesy of Amanda Lin.

A typical Spindle can be short, but users can group them together to create a story. The application acts as a journal for important life moments.

“My proudest Spindle is [my story] of when I ran a half marathon,” Lin said. “I’m not a runner and I hate running, but I challenged myself. I tracked my practice runs, the events leading up to the weekend and the race itself.”

According to Walker, Spindle also allows you to see the days during which you saved the most highlights.

“Spindle only saves the [what you deem as] highlights,” Lin said. “With texts [or social media], there’s a whole lot of other stuff. Spindle saves the best of the best, happiest and saddest stories.”

The inspiration for Spindle came from Walker and Lin’s desire to remember the little moments in life.

“We are both storytellers,” Walker said. “Often times, the stories you want to share aren’t big events. We want to give people a way to save the best stuff and time travel back to it later.”

The idea of storytelling is woven into Spindle’s name. 

“It [Spindle] sounds really fun, but also ties a bunch of threads together,” Walker said.

Walker and Lin have high hopes for the future of Spindle.

“We want to be a brand synonymous with how people document their lives,” Walker said.

Screenshot from the app by Adele Bloch.
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