The idea of social networking has long been to put loads of information about yourself up online for everyone else to see. But what if you want to keep things a little more private?
After all, Facebook bases its business model on selling users’ data on to advertisers, and activities like this have raised concerns about how many of our personal details are available to others. For those who want to hide away, there are a new breed of social apps that let you communicate anonymously with those around you.
Working like a big, anonymous chatroom, FireChat pulls in messages posted by people in your vicinity and lets you chat back to them. While this could work in any situation, it may really prove itself during big events like football matches, where opinions could be voiced to anyone else in the stadium and games could be discussed in the way that they often are on online forums.
Whisper is like an online confessional, in which people can post short admissions to things that they may not otherwise feel comfortable sharing. After typing in a confession, a background image is selected by the app and then the whole thing is uploaded to a grid-style interface through which others can be browsed. Admissions can be filtered based on your location, and you can even send anonymous direct messages to other users.
Like a location-based, anonymous version of Twitter, YikYak allows you to type a short message or observation and post it online. Other users can then vote comments up or down, and while the location from which messages have been sent can be seen, the identity of the user remains private.