Ark.com, a search engine designed to act as a social network, is coming to UC Davis.
According to Ben Trinh, a marketing intern for Ark.com and third-year sociology major, users can search for other people based on common interests that link them.
“Ark is a social search engine that allows people to connect with others based on facts, interests and similarities,” Trinh said.
The website, which mainly targets people in their 20s, allows users to search for people based on anything from their hometown to their relationship status in order to find people that they’ve been looking for, as well as to make new friends.
Joshua Kim, a third-year economics major and marketing intern for Ark.com, says that Ark emulates the best parts of the most popular websites in order to make something new.
“Google and Facebook are great to find information and friends, but Ark is the best way to find people that you haven’t met yet. It uses over 30 different filters for you to find new and old connections,” said Kim.
According to Kim, the idea for Ark came from the desire to complement other search engines, instead of competing with them.
“Ark’s founders Patrick Riley and Yiming Liu said, ‘We imagined what Google and Facebook [would] build together if they weren’t at war.’ Someone needed to be Switzerland and build a search engine on top of all the social networks that’s completely remodeled for people looking for each other,” Kim explained.
The social network allows students to expand their friend network.
“‘Facebook requires you to start with a name — it’s good at showing you people you know,’” said Patrick Riley, CEO and founder of Ark.com, in a May 9 article in The Daily Californian. “‘Ark is good at showing you people you should know.’”
In order to decide which universities are going to be the first to gain access to Ark.com, a nationwide competition is being launched across all UC campuses. The campuses that have the most students sign up to use the search engine will gain access first. In addition, merchandise will be given out to the winning schools.
“Students of UC Davis can expect to get Ark lanyards, microfiber high-tech screen wipers and even shirts. Also, the top-five winning schools will win a launch party,” said Trinh.
The launching contest will run from Nov. 28 to Dec. 14, and the five schools with the most sign-ups to use the site will be the first to gain access in early 2013.
Students can sign up to use Ark.com exclusively by registering using their UC Davis email address on ark.com/edu. According to Trinh, no spam or newsletters will come with the emails, just one invitation to use the website.
Ark.com is expected to launch in Winter Quarter.
JESSICA GRILLI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.