From projects, meetings to lengthy To-Do lists, Singaporean students’ lives can get pretty bogged down by extra-curricular activities and the piles of work they have to complete. And most of the time, social activities take a backseat as they struggle to keep up with school work.
Messaging apps like WhatsApp and LINE have given students a convenient platform through which they can organise social meetups, yet I’m sure we all remember when it took an absurdly long time just for us to decide what to do and where to eat. In fact, I took around a month to arrange a meet-up once — and it was just for a simple dinner. Bummer.
All this could be fixed if only there was an app for that — and that’s what Leggo is all about.
Leggo, Not Lego!
Calling itself “The hang out app for hip students in Singapore”, Leggo is basically a social gathering app. It was developed by CTO Ling Chi Tao and CEO Edric Subur, both of whom are graduates of the Information Systems Departments in NUS and SMU respectively.
The Leggo app is by no means their first rodeo: Edric co-founded ticketing system LeanTix in his first few years in university, while Chi Tao helped found a web development company called Quark Spark. After meeting via online platform meetup.com, they decided to create something that would make gathering people as easy as it should be. “Yo“, a social app that allows users to keep in touch with friends easily, inspired a big part of Leggo’s creation, according to Edric:
“Why can’t planning a gathering be as simple as Yo? All of us want to meet, but why is finding a place and time that suits everybody such a hassle? There must be a better way where we can make plans happen with just a few taps!”
The Leggo app has been around for a while now — it officially launched in January earlier this year — but what many of us might be curious about is how the name Leggo came about (disclaimer: they are in no way related to Lego). Edric explains that they wanted to make their app sound “fun, young and hip”, and that the popular slang (a contraction of “let’s go”) was something that they thought would be easy for people to remember and use on a regular basis.
How To Leggo
Leggo is currently available on Google Play and iOS. Upon opening the app, users will find that it has been categorised neatly under 3 separate tabs: School, Friends and Discover. The Discover tab helps you to decide on a place to hang out at, and offers a list of choices that are popular amongst fellow students. Ideas can go stale very fast (Singapore is a small country after all), and the range of options available under this tab enabled me to gain some inspiration.
After narrowing down their options for meet up locations, users can then send their ideas to friends for a quick poll, enabling a decision to be made fast. It’s like a Doodle, Facebook and Hungry Go Where mash-up, and I’m not complaining.
Even if your friends are busy, you can choose to look up some ongoing meet-ups that you might be interested in attending — it could be a good chance for you to mix around and widen your social circle. Of course, impromptu events aren’t for everyone, so this might not be a feature that everyone will hanker after.
Another feature that caught my eye was the discounts offered by Leggo. They provide more incentive for you and your friends to try new eateries, since you’re less restrained by your budget. Edric explained how the discounts work:
“Our users will get up to 50% discount when a certain number of Leggo friends RSVPed to their Leggo plan to visit the cafe/bars. This incentivizes users to invite friends to download Leggo, and their friends will be more open to download the app because they themselves will enjoy the discount.”
Despite all the good features, though, I think it might do Leggo well to expand on diversifying their recommendations beyond just restaurants and cinemas. By offering more unconventional activities for music fans, nature lovers or art enthusiasts, Leggo might push students to discover more hobbies and ideas beyond the usual eating and hanging around at malls — Singapore has much more to offer than that.
Currently, Leggo is teamed up with Chope and Groupon, and are hoping to expand their partnerships to even more restaurants, cinemas and entertainment facilities in due time, so hopefully this issue will be addressed soon.
Testing The Waters & Future Plans
With big app giants like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger on the market, as well as other startups in Singapore like Sup and Gurrilla, it’s not hard to see why the Leggo founders are under immense pressure to make Leggo the preferred tool for organising social events.
Yet despite possible doubts about Leggo, the app has been doing well so far: apart from winning the Singapore Management University Innovation Award in November last year, the duo also placed 4th at the Southeast Asia Mobile App Competition (SEMAC) this year, taking home a S$1000 prize.
Despite that, the team behind Leggo are not ones to rest on their laurels. Edric was quick to point out some of the difficulties they encountered during app development, such as having to string many elements together into a functional app, yet keeping the user interface simple and easy to understand and use.
They’re also already looking to make more improvements to their app: the team is looking to launch an in-app chat function sometime in June, and they are planning to include suggestions for working adults in the near future. In addition, the founders hope to provide during and after-event features, such as bill-splitting and checking friends’ locations prior to meeting (imagine never having to be the sore early bird ever again).
While they’ve started small, Leggo’s growth so far might be a good signal that they’re on the right track towards building a social gathering app that actually works. As Edric explained, they have hopes of becoming a ‘sticky social app’, and I for one am excited to see where they’re headed.