Social media managers who like a cloak-and-dagger story will like this one: an unnamed group of engineers has alerted TechCrunch journalist Sarah Perez to a forthcoming web and mobile (iOS) platform that fuses the anonymity of apps like Whisper and Secret with the ease-of-use features characteristic of public sharing platforms like Medium, WordPress and Twitter.
Perez had initially declined to report on the new platform because she had no idea whether these unnamed engineers had the know-how to build what they were claiming to have built. But they persuaded her to keep their identities hush-hush for now after sharing their credentials: they’re a team of engineers who’ve worked in senior and consulting roles for large organizations. As they’re naming their new platform “Cloaq”, they wanted to remain under a “cloak” until official launch as a marketing ploy.
It’s a gamble; our mystery-loving social media manager may like it but some may find such deliberate coyness a little irritating. Even so, it does tend to stir the curiosity in spite of that.
Users can post content anonymously with Cloaq and it’ll appear in the timeline of their followers. But you don’t need to be a veteran social media manager to recognize that, so far, it doesn’t sound any different to other anonymous social apps like Secret.
Where true selves speak freely
This is where it starts to get more interesting: Cloaq, unlike the competition, will allow users to make posts of any length. And it lets you tag your posts with a category for search and sorting. The most radical point of difference, however, resides in Cloaq’s use of personal user data: it doesn’t collect it. No email addresses or phone numbers are needed at sign-up; users just enter a password whereupon they’ll get assigned an @id number.
One of the unnamed engineer co-creators puts it like this: “We designed this platform to give intelligent people a way to speak their minds freely. We want to give people a way to really be their true selves, and express their true beliefs, ideas, opinions and suggestions without the natural reservation that comes with living in the public social media age, and worrying about what their friends, family or followers will think of them, or how they will be judged.”
Sounds intriguing. Watch this space.