Cloak is the anti-social, people-disconnecting iOS app that the Silicon Valley needs
These days, it seems Silicon Valley isall about multimillion (billion) dollar social apps. WhatsApp'smind-boggling $19 billion acquisition from Facebook is already oldnews. Just today, another member of the club - Tango, raised awhopping $280 million from investors, including China's e-commercegiant Alibaba. And last week, the anonymous messaging app Secret, whichquickly degraded into an outlet for all the hateful things we tellbehind people's backs, racked up $8.6 million.
It's understandable why everyone wantsto be the next Facebook, and we have nothing but respect for all thesmall teams that are getting gloriously rewarded for their hard work.But frankly, we've had enough of social networking. At this point,we've got an over-abundance of apps for photo messaging, privatemessaging, secret messaging, self-destruct messaging, nakedmessaging, crypto-messaging, drunken messaging, micro-messaging, andall kinds of virtual clamor. We would like to see someone becomesuccessful by taking a different route.
When we heard of Cloak, the anti-socialapp, we chuckled and cheered at its delightfully deviant approach tosocial networking. Instead of connecting you to the next billionpeople, Cloak squeezes data from Instagram and Foursquare through itsinternal hate-machine to help you disconnect from people thatyou'd rather not cross paths with, especially on a bad day. It's likea real-life stealth game - or "incognito mode for real life",as its tagline suggests. The app determines "enemy"positions via check-ins which they posted in the aforementionednetworks, and puts them on a green-tinted map of the city you're in.Cloak can be set to only show locations, but it can also alert youwhen a "target" is approaching at a particular distance.
Mind you, this isn't stalking, or somekind of human radar for sociopaths. Cloak doesn't use GPS tracking,it merely scans public check-ins from the aforementioned socialnetworks. That's why the app is more like a working parody ofinternet socializing than a merciless tool to stay away fromunpleasant faces. But as its authors, developer Brian Moore andformer Buzzfeed creative director Chris Bayer eventually startfeeding it data from other networks, Cloak could truly help youevade, at the very least, the unwanted contacts of yours thatcheck-in religiously.
"Anti-social stuff is on the rise."
Chris Baker seems to share our socialnetworking sentiments. “Personally, I think we’ve seen thecrest of the big social network,” he told Washington Post.“Things like Twitter and Facebook are packed elevators wherewe’re all crammed in together … I think anti-social stuff is onthe rise. You’ll be seeing more and more of these types ofprojects.”
Bring it on, then - Cloak seems like agood start. It's available for free in the Apple App Store.
Download Cloak: iOS