A team of engineers told TechCrunch that they are working on a new Web and mobile app called Cloaq that will “combine the anonymity of apps like Secret and Whisper, with the ease-of-use of more public platforms for sharing, like Twitter, Medium or WordPress.”
Like anonymous “social” apps, Cloaq will allow users to post content, which appears in the timeline of those following you. This isn’t entirely different, on its own, from something like Secret, but there are a number of other features that make Cloaq sound unique.
For starters, the anonymous posts can be of any length, and can be tagged with a category for searching and sorting. Of course, you can be pseudo-anonymous on blogging platforms today, especially on Tumblr, which is already home to a number of “anonymous” personalities, including some of those in the tech industry would know, like Startup L. Jackson or that angry Jesus Christ, Silicon Valley guy (gal?).
The service will include standard features like favoriting, flagging and a “Popular” section, but Cloaq differentiates itself from Secret in that it will not collect personal information like telephone numbers or email. Users simply enter a password and get assigned an @id number, which can be hidden for posts users wish to “cloak.” But those posts will still show up in follower streams.
Posts will support both longform and shortform formats with titles and content similar to blog posts. Photos are optional. Like Whisper, Cloaq will prohibit racist, prejudice and hate speech or threats, freezing the accounts of users who post offensive material. It is not clear if Cloaq will include geolocation information — though it appears unlikely.
It remains to bee seen if the app itself will live up to the pomp and circumstance the team is trying to create around its upcoming launch, which TechCrunch points out lacks the know-how of seasoned startup professionals insofar as the engineers plan to “remain faceless” themselves and fend off press inquiries and public speaking engagements. Otherwise, the engineers’ technical prerequisites appear solid.
Echoing popular sentiment of the day, Cloaq’s co-founder told TechCrunch that the app was created for free-thinking intelligent users: “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.”
Certainly many other developers are working on similar projects as the appeal of anonymous sharing continues to increase. The Cloaq team says they already have some initial funding from a few private investors and a demo will be available in a few weeks.
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