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Antisocial Network: Cloak App Uses Location Data to Help You Avoid People

2 minute read

A new iOS app called Cloak rounds up users’ Foursquare and Instagram location data so that you can actively avoid bumping into people you know.

Cloak refers to itself as “incognito mode for real life” — a tip of the hat to Google’s private browsing setting on its Chrome web browser. “Think of it as the antisocial network,” reads the app’s description in Apple’s App Store.

Once fired up, Cloak presents you with a map stocked with people you follow on Foursquare and Instagram, leveraging the most recent places where they’ve checked in or location-tagged photos. You can get instant alerts when people’s locations come within a block of yours, and four hours after someone’s tagged their location, their personal icon will fade, suggesting they may have moved.

The App Store description says that Twitter location data isn’t leveraged because “most users have it turned off and even when it’s on, it’s quite vague.”

As for that other social network, Cloak’s creators told me that “Facebook has good data, but a lot of it” and pointed out that a lot of people you’re connected to on Facebook, like friends from high school, probably aren’t near you at any given time. “But,” they said, “we’re going to be thinking about how to include this soon, as well as other networks, of course.”

The app is free in the App Store. As for an Android version, here’s the response I got:

Right now we’re just focusing on iOS. If the app proves to be a hit with users, of course we’ll expand the idea (ahem, VCs reading this). Plus we’ve got some fun features we’d like to roll out beyond what’s included in our launch. Stay tuned.

Cloak – Incognito mode for real life [UseCloak.com via BuzzFeed]

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