New York City-based startup Minus rolled out a brand new app on Valentine’s Day that lets people find new friends in their area to chat and share photos with instantly. The app also includes an exploration option that allows you to see photos being shared by other Minus users around you.
Strange as it may sound to some, the appeal of Minus is that it can connect you with strangers in your area. Think of it as an “ice-breaker” app. Something to help you make new friends. “The idea of saying ‘Hello’ to someone unfamiliar, a stranger has always been taboo. We hope to change that and help everyone build a new level of connection with those around them through chat and photos,” said the app announcement on the Minus blog.
How Minus works:
- Share photos with everyone near you and see what others are sharing, as well.
- See who is around you now, browse their profile photos, and say hello.
- Chat with users in private and instantly send photos.
We did ask Minus co-founder John Xie a little bit about the safety protocols in place for the app. Our concerns with startups usually involve privacy protection, because as well-meaning or innovative as an app can be, security can often determine whether a new service will sink or swim. So, on to the slightly-forward yet obvious question:
Social News Daily: Obviously, security is an issue when you’re connecting strangers. I’ll ask it straightforward. How do you prevent some random stranger from sending a Minus user a picture of his hog?
John: “Appreciate the straightforwardness! This is our first release and we definitely have many things planned in the future to increase options for users to customize how they can use Minus and when they want to chat or if they want to auto-accept messages/photos or have a separate inbox for guest/stranger chats before accepting a new chat.
“Additional examples such as allowing users to go ‘Offline’ or have ‘Do Not Disturb’ functionality and such, we have many ideas and definitely something we will work towards.
“Currently users can simply block unwanted profiles/users from messaging them. They can alternatively also turn off chat notifications.”
One of the things we really like about Minus is their openness to user feedback. They encourage any and all comments to be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or through instant chat with @minusapp on the app itself.
Minus is available on Android and iPhone and you can download it for free at the App Store.
Here’s a gallery showing the Minus app in action: