The whole point of social media is keep everyone connected and help you expand your number of friends and acquaintances, yet the new service named Cloak is turning the concept on its head and is aimed at helping you avoid everyone.
Created by the programmer Brian Moore and the former creative director of Buzzfeed Chris Baker, Cloak works by pulling public location data from Foursquare and Instagram. It determines the location of people you know and then alerts you if they are suspected of being nearby, giving you the chance to dodge them via a side-street.
This new kind of service has been termed an “anti-social app” or secretive app. It follows other apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp, which are geared towards providing private messaging services.
Cloak is described as a way to “avoid exes, co-workers, that guy who likes to stop and chat – anyone you’d rather not run into”.
Chris Baker expressed his feelings on the shift in attitude towards social media, saying: “Personally, I think we’ve seen the crest of the big social network.”
“Things like Twitter and Facebook are packed elevators where we’re all crammed in together… I think anti-social stuff is on the rise. You’ll be seeing more and more of these types of projects.”
However editor-in-chief of App Magazine, Nick Jones, thinks these types of apps are not created out of necessity but rather because developers are looking to explore new avenues in the social-media market.
“People are having to diversify their apps and find some unique angle to their app, and then try and sell it to Facebook and make a pretty penny.”
However, he admitted: “Secrecy has its advantages for people. It’s quite attractive.”
Does Cloak appeal to you? Who would you like to avoid?
[Image via lovethatmag]