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Thursday, April 18, 2024

For Taylor Nones, getting money to redecorate her apartment started with an iPhone photo of her friend’s messy room.

The 19-year-old telecommunication sophomore submitted the snapshot to The Daily Hundred, an iPhone app based in Gainesville that challenges users to compete in daily photo-voting contests for a chance to win $100 and sometimes additional prizes.

Nones and her roommates pooled their friends to pull ahead of the competition. They won the contest with about 80 votes.

“We were able to network,” Nones said.

The next day, she walked into The Daily Hundred’s office downtown and collected a $100 bill. She used the money to buy curtains for her apartment.

Nones is one of about 90 winners since the app launched in August, said company CEO and co-founder Nick Haase, 23. The company has given $12,000 away to date.

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity alumnus from Emory University reached out to Gainesville brothers to help gain hype for The Daily Hundred. Tapping into UF’s Greek community allowed his company’s social networking to start strong, he said.

In the seven weeks since the app’s debut, The Daily Hundred app has been downloaded about 4,000 times, Haase said.

“There hasn’t been a day with zero downloads,” he said.

Haase attributed the rapid growth to encouraging competition between users with the incentive of a tangible prize.

“How many times have you logged in[to] Facebook to see who’s advertising on the side of the page?” he asked. “Our product is the advertisement.”

He described users getting in voting wars. Many people use texting, tweeting and facebooking to rally their friends behind their photos.

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“You can have a cool picture,” Nones said, “but if you want to win, you have to know people that will download that free app for you and vote for you.”

At first, the cash prizes were funded by private investors. Now, some businesses sponsor contests.

Haase and his 16-member staff share office space with about 10 other businesses at the Founders Pad.

For The Daily Hundred to land one of its biggest partners, Gator Domino’s franchise owner Freddie Wehbe, some guerilla advertising was necessary.

“I had to wait outside for an hour and a half for him to walk to his car,” vice president of promotion development Chris Dugosh said.

Wehbe said he partnered with The Daily Hundred because he needed more traffic online. The contest he sponsored helped the Gator Domino’s Facebook page gain 288 new likes.

“I’ve never seen a one-day impact so powerful,” he said.

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at mdavidson@alligator.org.

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