Random connection may be the next big trend. We’re starting to see some services gain popularity that offer a bit of a counter to Facebook, with its “display everything about you to the world and make it insanely easy to track and connect with you” approach to social networking. First it was Chat Roulette, a “spin-the-wheel-and-see-who-appears” webchat service. Then we were introduced to Snapchat, which provides a kinda-private dissolving platform for picture and video messaging. And who can can forget Bang With Friends, which allows people to anonymously solicit each other for sex dates, only revealing names when both parties target each other. Now it’s Whisper, the secret-sharing app that offers complete (maybe?) anonymity, which just raised $3mm in funding. These types of services offer something Facebook does not; kinda-safe and kinda-random connection with others. It’s exciting and plays on the desire to discover, but without opening your front door to the world.
Then I heard about the Lulu app, available only to women for “private review of guys“. It’s quickly gaining users. And that was followed up by a new foursquare reboot that focuses on search and discovery, flexing its recommendation muscle.
You picking up what I’m throwing down here? Random discovery. Safe connection. Limited availability. Seems to counter what we all thought social was about, doesn’t it (at least the last two)?