Tired of the same old instant messaging app floating around the mobile world? How about something less instant and less direct? With Somebody, you won’t be sending your message to your friend or relative or whoever directly. You get to pick out a stranger to do it for you. In style.
Here is the gist of the process. As a messaging app, both you and your recipient need to be account holders. You compose a message and select the recipient, who will tell you if now is a good time to receive a message from a stranger. If so, you get to pick out who among other Somebody users nearby is best fit to deliver the message. You don’t just have to choose based on proximity. You can choose based on their photo, reviews, ratings and whatnot. As the sender, you can include instructions on how you want the message to be delivered and your recipient will rate whether the messenger’s performance was worthy of an Oscar or not.
Somebody is the brainchild of author, artist, and filmmaker Miranda July. The purpose of the app, it really has one, is to make messaging even more fun than just cute emojis or stickers. Actually, more hilarious than fun. And awkward. Perhaps very awkward. As the app’s page says “Unpredictable, undocumented, fleeting interactions with strangers can bring great joy and inspiration!” Not convinced how fun, and awkward, it can be? How about a video showing the ways Somebody can be put to good use.
(WARNING: It gets slight Not Safe For Work towards the end)
Hilarity aside, the app does bring up some issues, particularly of privacy and safety. Given how many people on social networks aren’t who they say they are, it’s quite a risk to give a stranger directions to a loved one or a friend. Then again, you probably won’t be using this app for serious business. And you probably won’t even sign up unless you have a tinge of adventure in your blood. The app is available for free on iTunes App Store but, like any social service or messaging app, it really only works if you have other Somebody users around you.