The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Students find their Voyse


iPhone users now have another form of social media through which to interact thanks to two Grinnell students. Ham Serunjogi ’16 and Maijid Moujaled ’14 are the creators of Voyse, an application that allows iPhone users to send self-destructing voice messages to their friends. Voice messages on Voyse can be no longer than 30 seconds.

Serunjogi and Moujaled think that the app will appeal to a wide range of people.

“It’s not tailored specifically to one demographic,” Serunjogi said. “If it’s business related, the messages are encrypted, so it’s safe to send. If you just want to have fun with your friends and say crazy stuff, you could send it with that.”

The app’s genesis came from a dilemma Serunjogi experienced over winter break. He wanted to send a short joke to his friend and wanted to do so in a way without having what he said saved, such as through a text message.

“It was something that he could use as leverage against me,” Serunjogi said.

It was this that prompted Serunjogi to think of the concept behind Voyse.

Moujaled, the co-founder of Grinnell’s AppDev group, and current leader of the iOS team, coded the app. He spent a week prototyping it. While the start of the semester has given Moujaled less time to work on the application, progress is still being made.

“We just submitted it to Apple last weekend; they approved version 1.0,” Moujaled said.

Since then, Moujaled has been working on getting rid of any bugs the app may have. An updated version of the app will be released in the coming week.

Serunjogi is from Uganda and Moujaled is from Ghana. They have noticed that voicemail is not available in many parts of Africa and see Voyse as being possibly very useful there.

“Potentially, we do see that the African market would be a cool opportunity,” Moujaled shared.

For the time being, however, Serunjogi and Moujaled are more focused on improving the app and reducing any problems with it that come up.

“Right now, our main goal is to build a really good product that everyone loves,” Moujaled said.

voice app

Serunjogi and Moujaled plan to use Facebook and Twitter to give this new app a following. They hope, however, that the app will be self-sustaining. Users who download the app will want to use it with their friends. Therefore, they believe that the app will spread mostly via word of mouth.

“Given how inherently social the app is supposed to be, that would be the main avenue—basically people telling their friends,” Serunjogi said.

Right now, not many people have begun using the app, which means news about it will be slow to spread.

“If we realize people are not spreading it around, we would take another look at the product, see how we can optimize it to get people more engaged,” Moujaled said.

Currently Voyse is a free app, and Moujaled and Serunjogi plan for it to stay this way. In the future, they do hope to implement advertising.

“When we get traction and a bunch of users, we might then start thinking about ads that fit in with the product,” Moujaled said.

In order for the ads to fit it, Moujaled wants to stay away from banner ads. Instead, he wants to look more into short audio ads.

Moujaled admits that figuring out how to implement ads will be tough.

“Even Snapchat and Instagram are still trying to figure out how to monetize,” Moujaled wrote in an email to the S&B.

Voyse is currently available only on the iTunes app store, but Moujaled and Serunjogi hope to bring to Android users in the future.

“We started off with the iOS version because I primarily develop for the iOS side of things, but once we have this version out and have people using it, we’ll just port it over to Android,” Moujaled explained.

Moujaled thinks an Android version will be available within the next two months.

Voyse is currently available for free on the iTunes App Store.

View Comments (3)
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (3)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • S

    suekyFeb 26, 2014 at 1:15 am

    very good..glad we have pple like Ham and maijid.
    congs…looking forward to downloading App.

  • M

    MaijidFeb 21, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks a lot Carlos! Can you send them to me directly? maijid AT gmail DOT com. 🙂 I’d love to hear other thoughts you may have too. Really appreciate it!!

  • C

    Carlos R. Lu '10Feb 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    This is awesome! Great work by Ham and Maijid. I’m using the app now – where can I report bugs that I find?