Compared: Two New Ways to Stalk Your Friends
It’s great to accidentally run into a friend at a café. Or to bump into that cute young thing you like at a grocery store. But why leave such delightful encounters to chance? You don’t have to anymore. New apps will help you track the people you like online, so you can connect with them in the real world more easily.
Two of these apps, Connect and SocialRadar (both for iOS), work in much the same way. They collect the location data your friends are posting online using various different services and put it all on one map, centered around you.
If a friend checks in on Foursquare or Facebook, or place-tags a photo on Instagram, or tweets a location on Twitter, then these apps will help you find the check-ins that are close to you, to make meeting up easier.
Connect (see our How-To Guide) gives you not just recent check-in data, but also home locations (where people say they live or work, via Facebook). I used it recently to discover that an old co-worker of mine was living in Brooklyn. I have a trip to New York coming up soon; maybe I’ll pay a visit. Connect also has clever alerts. For example, it can send you a notice whenever a friend from out of town checks in somewhere in your city.
You can also use Connect to find particular groups, like people of one gender, or employment status, or even those who are single.
SocialRadar also gives you a lot of detail on the people close around you. For example, you can filter to see just people of the opposite sex, or who like the same TV show as you do. It will also show you friends of friends and how you’re connected to them. A very cool feature: You can set a data radius, to see just the people very close to you (like within 25 feet). This could be useful at a party. SocialRadar is even working on a Google Glass app, to help you get intel on the people in the same room as you. (But don’t be a Glasshole with it.)