I sat down thinking I was going to write about how FlyChat, a new iPhone app, is kind of creepy. Then I realized it’s actually a lot like Twitter in some regards. And that’s not to say that Twitter isn’t creepy in some ways. But it’s an accepted form of creepy. FlyChat, however, isn’t just yet.
Here’s the basic idea behind FlyChat: Social networks often limit you to interacting with people that you already know, either from the online world or the real world. But FlyChat wants to connect you with people that you don’t already know, based on location and interests. Okay, it’s not quite that creepy. It’s a little more innocent than that.
Basically, you write a note and attach it to a fly. You then select a region you want that fly to travel to. A person in that area can see your note and your profile which includes your picture and a few things about you, and can decide if they want to respond or not. Each of these flychats also has a category which you put it into to let potential readers know what it will be about. The more FlyChats you send out, the more you can receive in return. The company considers these messages to be like “high-tech messages in a bottle.”
So why on Earth would you want to use a service like this? Well as I said, while most social networks focus on establishing your existing connections, FlyChat wants to help you make new ones. Some people are into that. Second, imagine you’re planning a trip somewhere that you don’t know anyone. With FlyChat, you can potentially make some contacts before you go. Though, obviously, that could potentially be a bit dangerous.
It reminds me a bit of the app PhotoSwap, which some friends of mine have long been addicted to. With that, you send photos from your iPhone to other random users throughout the world. You then get sent a random photo back. FlyChat is a bit like that but with text. But there’s also a game element to it, where you earn points and medal based on how many connections you make.