Meet Cloak, the antisocial media app that uses your friends' Instagram and Foursquare location feeds so you can avoid running into them.
LinkedIn Tips: 10 Steps To A Stronger Profile
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)
There's no shortage of social apps that help you connect with friends both in real life and over the web -- take Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare, for example. But what about those serendipitous moments that you'd rather avoid, such as bumping into an ex-girlfriend or co-worker during a night out?
Enter Cloak, a new "antisocial app" that uses your friends' social media activity to pinpoint their location, so you can steer clear of them in real life. Co-creator Brian Moore developed the app after he endured four awkward encounters with his ex-girlfriend in six months after moving to New York.
Cloak, which is free and currently available only for iOS, combs your Instagram and Foursquare accounts for your friends' latest check-ins. Then it adds their last-known location to a map. You can set up notifications for specific people you want to avoid, and the app notifies you when they're within a certain radius of you.
Once you connect your Instagram and Foursquare accounts, Cloak loads a map of your location and alerts you to how many of your friends are nearby. You can zoom in and out of the map to view more, and you can click on the bubbles to view the exact locations of where they last checked in. Tapping a bubble also lets you flag a user, which means the app will alert you when that user is within two miles, one mile, half a mile, or one block of you.
Moore spent the last eight months with co-founder Chris Baker developing the app. The duo told Newsweek that the app got more than 100,000 users in a week, thanks in part to a plug from The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon. Baker is no stranger to antisocial apps, either: He created the popular browser extension unbaby.me, which rids your Facebook news feed of annoying baby pictures.
Cloak's real usefulness, however, hinges on how active your friends are on Instagram and Foursquare. The app has not yet integrated Facebook's geolocation data, though the founders said they plan to integrate it. That would no doubt improve the service. Twitter's location data is omitted because it is too vague, according to Cloak's App Store description.
As social media apps continue to push users to share more, Cloak provides users with a different approach to privacy. Have you found the app useful? Share your thoughts with us.
Interop Las Vegas, March 31 to April 4, brings together thousands of technology professionals to discover the most current and cutting-edge technology innovations and strategies to drive their organizations' success, including BYOD security, the latest cloud and virtualization technologies, SDN, the Internet of things, and more. Find out more about Interop and register now.
Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio
Social is a Business ImperativeThe use of social media for a host of business purposes is rising. Indeed, social is quickly moving from cutting edge to business basic. Organizations that have so far ignored social - either because they thought it was a passing fad or just didnít have the resources to properly evaluate potential use cases and products - must start giving it serious consideration.
Social is a Business ImperativeSocial media is critical in the age of digital business. How can IT help? First, work with the marketing team to set up social networking programs on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, at minimum. Then work to put social media sentiment analytics in place to measure success.
InformationWeek Tech Digest August 03, 2015The networking industry agrees that software-defined networking is the way of the future. So where are all the deployments? We take a look at where SDN is being deployed and what's getting in the way of deployments.