A relatively new proximity-based messaging app called TinyShout is offering people the ability to send messages to those around them, even if those people are not contacts, followers or otherwise socially connected to them.
The app, created by WaitIQ LLC, allows users to set the distance within which their messages are transmitted, and to define the time period during with those messages remain active. Version 1.1, which was released in late February, allows users to increase the distance to 10, 15, 20 or 25 miles from their location.
Whereas services such as Twitter let users send simple messages, those messages are broadcast worldwide and may not be relevant or effective when trying to reach a nearby person or crowd. Plus, those messages do not expire and are not deleted.
For example, TinyShout can be used at an event to announce to attendees that a set of car keys was found, or in a neighborhood setting to report a lost dog. The app can even be used at a night club to inform some of those in the crowd about an after party. Since users set a time expiration, say 10 minutes, the message disappears, and the information is deleted from the app and from all mobile devices within that range.
The way it works is this: TinyShout lets users post messages to a public message board that can only be seen by those within the post author’s defined range — whether that’s 100 feet or 25 miles — and for the defined time period. If it’s for 10 minutes, for example, any user within the defined range will see that message for the next 10 minutes and can post a reply to that message either publicly for all users to see or privately, which only the original poster can see.
Additionally, TinyShout offers users different ways to post messages: They can do so anonymously, without revealing their username; users can add passcodes that require others to know the passcode before they can read a message; posters can set a self destruct timer on the message so it disappears after others users read it; or users can post a message that is fixed to where the message is sent or allow it to follow the mobile device from which it was sent.
With regard to the self-destruct feature, a notification is sent to the original poster of the message and all users that have replied, when the message is about to expire within 30 seconds.
The interface seems pretty clean, intuitive and well organized. The dashboard allows users to post messages, view the message board, review chat history and set up notifications, as well as contact customer support.
Users can set up their account to receive notifications when they are within the range of a number of distinct categories. Categories include everything from ridesharing and parties to festivals, sporting events and protests. Plus, users can also choose categories such as lost and found, cemeteries and funerals, shopping, love and romance, and to be informed of things that are for sale or rent. Even help wanted opportunities can be shared out to those in proximity and can remain live for as much as six months.
So next time you’re out and want to connect with one or more people around you — and they’re not a contact — jut give them a tiny shout.
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