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article imageZoku app offers perfect blend of anonymity for social networking

By Murray Newlands     Mar 25, 2015 in Internet
Social networking sites are among the most popular and frequently visited online destinations, and they have experienced a large surge in membership numbers as smartphones have become more easily accessible.
In fact, some social networking options now forego the more traditional format of a website altogether and exist purely in an app format.
When you combine these specialized apps with other apps that have been created for existing social sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it becomes easy for people of all interest levels to connect with others in the virtual world.
However, there are some apps that have decided to reach beyond this basic understanding of social networking in order to help users find people for real world connections outside of the dating realm. Additionally, a major emphasis is currently being placed on giving people anonymity so that they can share secrets without fear of reprisal.
The Increasing Popularity of Online Secrets
In 2005, the website PostSecret was launched, and this gave people around the world the ability to share their deepest secrets with an online audience. Because there were no names or faces associated with these secrets, the blog soon became one of the top 20,000 websites in the world.
This inevitably led to the development of a short-lived app, and it also inspired many other secret sharing apps, including Whisper, Secret and Yik Yak. All of these resources make it possible for users to publish a secret, but they failed to give people the ability to connect more deeply by also sharing their interests with each other.
Combining Anonymity with Social Features
Keeping your identity a secret while talking to people on a social networking site used to be easy due to MySpace’s lax rules about user names, but Facebook has made it almost impossible to spend a significant amount of time using an account without disclosing your real name and phone number.
Fortunately, there are still some social networking developers who understand the appeal of being anonymous. After all, this enables users to combine the best aspects of social networking and a secret-sharing app without putting themselves at risk. Zoku is leading the way for a new version of social networking that gives people enhanced functionality and privacy features.
How Does Zoku Work?
Although Zoku does not necessarily encourage users to share actual secrets with each other, it definitely shares some roots with sites such as PostSecret. The basic concept is that Zoku members can join tribes that are filled with people who have similar life experiences and interest levels. However, unlike Facebook groups, the users within these tribes are not identified by their name or a picture of their face.
Instead, everyone has an anonymous codename so that they can interact with each other without sharing any private data. Interestingly, there is also a feature to meet other users in real life, but the criteria that needs to be met for this to happen makes it simple to maintain your anonymity if that is what you prefer.
Meeting in the Real World
Every typical social networking app or website makes it possible for users to schedule a real life encounter, but only Zoku limits the range of people who can contact you for this purpose. Each tribe that you join has a unique sticker and ID, and this information is used via your phone’s Bluetooth feature to constantly look for your fellow tribe mates in the local area.
If someone who is affiliated with one of the same tribes as you happens to be within 300 feet of your current location, you will be given the opportunity to private message them about the possibility of meeting in person. Fortunately, the other user will never be given your exact location or real identity without your consent, so you can still choose the anonymous approach at all times if you prefer.
Ultimately, the main goal of an app like Zoku is to let users have a greater level of control over their personal information. Although inspirational encounters such as the real life love story that started due to a Facebook post from the popular blog Humans of New York prove that social networking of any type can lead to offline connections, it is still a good idea for people to carefully consider their privacy online and while utilizing apps.
Due to this, Zoku might just have created the perfect blend between the desire for anonymity and the drive to develop real world relationships.
More about Zoku app, Social Networking, Postsecret, Yik Yak, Whisper
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