A new mobile application has been developed that utilises location information from social networks to help its users avoid their friends.
While the vast majority of social networking apps have the aim of connecting people and bringing them closer together, new app Cloak has a different idea. The service comes in the wake of a surge of somewhat less social apps, following in the footsteps of popular Snapchat, which permanently deletes photographs sent between users.
Cloak is a service that allows its users to:
“[…] avoid exes, co-workers, that guy who likes to stop and chat – anyone you’d rather not run into.”
Users flag the people they wish to avoid, then the app sends a notification to a news feed alerting the user that someone is nearby. It uses location information from the last social check-in or geo-locational data from Foursquare or Instagram, with more networks being added in the future, letting users see this data plotted on a map.
The app was developed by Brian Moore, who is a programmer, and former Buzzfeed director Chris Baker, who told news suppliers in America that he believed this was the direction that social networking is destined for, saying:
“Things like Twitter and Facebook are packed elevators where we’re all crammed in together.”
The legitimacy of the app has been questioned, but both Moore and Baker have confirmed that it is not a parody and a joke, suggesting that the app reflects the reality of human nature – social, but only when they feel like.