Taylor Cohen’s Backpac App

Taylor Cohen hates Kim Kardashian. Cohen explains that Kardashian is an influencer. She has a lot of followers on social media and people like her stuff because it’s her, not because of the content she is posting. This is partly what inspired Cohen, who will be graduating from Rowan in December, to create her own app for college students called Backpac.

She wanted to create a private platform where students will be able to share music, pdf, photos, videos, gifs publicly or privately. Backpac’s original tagline says it all, “the notes from yesterday and the invites to the party tonight.”

Students can log in with their school email and have to ask friends to verify them on Backpac. Essentially, students create how safe it is.

“Backpac is giving the power to college students to communicate freely and express themselves without fear so they can share whatever it is that they want because it auto deletes upon graduation. At the same time it offers them market-specific rewards so that it can actually enhance their college experience on top of allowing them to share what matters while they are in college,” says Cohen.

Cohen’s idea for this app also grew out of an experience she had while she was interviewing for an internship. She was asked if they could see her phone and they made a comment about one of her pictures from freshmen year. Cohen believes this is the reason she was not offered the internship.

Cohen wanted to create a time capsule for college students to keep their memories and privacy. She feels college is four years to experiment and be who you are and students shouldn’t be judged for that.

 “Who you are on a Friday night is not who you are on a Monday morning in class and it’s not who you are at your internship Tuesday afternoon and it’s not who you are going to be professionally four years from now.”

Cohen advises that students should give their url if asked to sign into their social media during an interview. She says students should only let employers see what a potential client or partner would see and explain that they only use your Facebook for personal reasons not professionally.   

The concept for Backpac is based on popularity (this is where Kim Kardashian ties in).  Other people in the Rowan network will up vote or down vote the content and the most popular content (not the most popular person) will live at the top of the feed. It will feature the most up-to-date information on campus.

“We like sharing this stuff, why don’t we have it all in one place?” says Cohen who feels we have all these different platforms for sharing but Backpac would be all inclusive.

Each user has their own popularity ranking and those that have the best ranking will receive free gift cards and products from places such as Forever 21, Landmark, Itunes and Taylor is even trying to get free tuition for someone. This system promotes users to want to share good content.

For instance, if Red Bull has a partnership with Backpac and they give the most “popular” person a can of their new flavor, people around campus will see that person with that product. They’ll recognize the person because they always have good content on Backpac so it will promote Red Bull as well as Backpac’s motto of being a social influence in your college community.

Cohen isn’t sure when Backpac will be released and ready for use just yet but hopefully it will be soon.