LWHS senior launches social media app

Lake Washington High School senior Sami Baghban is hoping to put the “social” back in social media.

Last week, he launched a new mobile app, Unite Social Meetups, that allows users to create events if they’re in need of social interaction. Other users can then ask to join in the events, pending creator approval. Once attendees are added, a group chat function becomes available for users to get to know each other.

“It allows people to reach out to hang out,” Baghban, 18, said.

He said he was inspired to create the app after feeling isolated when his family moved to the United States from Iran when he was 10.

“I didn’t speak English … I used to eat in the bathroom,” Baghban said, adding he only spoke Turkish and Farsi. “It took me two years to really fit in.”

The slogan for his app is “Find micro groups in which you belong.”

“I want to motivate other teens, to give them hope that anything is possible, and it’s worth taking a risk (to reach out to other people),” Baghban said.

When creating events in the app, users can limit the number of people who attend and the length of the event, for those who want socialization but maybe not too much socialization.

Baghban’s been working on the app for about a year, and it launched in the App Store on May 31.

“I didn’t sleep at all last night,” Baghban told the Reporter on June 1, sharing his excitement about the app finally being available.

He worked on the app with a developer, and Baghban said he wants to delay going to college for at least one quarter to teach himself programming and pursue other possible career options.

The app, which is free, is currently only available for iPhone users. For more information, visit unitellc.com.