Last week, my friends and I competed in the CalgaryHacks 2017 hackathon. The theme for the hackathon was automation and optimization, so we came up with an ingenious idea.

In order to solve the issue of constantly having to monitor our social networks, we created Better Friend. It’s an application that allows you to link your Facebook account and have it automatically respond to activity on your feed and pages.

Better Friend allows you to feign interest in your friends’ inane memes and responsibly handle customer complaints for business pages. From automatic replies like “Wow, I was just about to send this to you!” to “Thank you for your continued support”, your friends and fans will immediately notice a positive change in your Facebook interactions with them.

To develop it, we used Node.js for the back-end to connect to the Facebook Login and Facebook Graph API to allow commenting and posting on behalf of users. For the front-end, we learned and used ReactJS to create a web page for authenticating with Facebook and interacting with settings for the automatic reply system in the back-end. To store users’ preferences, we made use of a MongoDB instance hosted in mLab. Finally, we used Heroku to host the Node servers for the demos and testing purposes.

With all of this, we ended up taking first place in the hackathon. For screenshots and details, check out the Devpost submission.

GitHub repos: API | Web app