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Sobrr, The App For The Night You'd Rather Forget

Social Networking For The Morning After The Night Before


Meeting new people is part of the joy of a night out. That sense of temporary camaraderie, uniting people against obstinate bouncers and oblivious taxi drivers, is one of the strongest bonds known to man. The problem comes the next day, when those same temporary friends wake up on your sofa and you realise what unpleasant people they are when you don’t both have half a dozen tequilas sloshing around inside you.

But it’s too late. They’ve added you on LinkedIn, you’re following each other on Twitter, and their totally unique pictures of sunsets and Caesar salads are merrily popping up on your Instagram feed. You’re chained to each other by the bonds of social media niceties.

Enter Sobrr.





Developed by a former engineer at LinkedIn, Bruce Yang, Sobrr allows you to meet people, share photos and messages, and get to know each other – for 24 hours. After that, like so many other things in life, your connections disappear and no trace of your relationship remains.

Of course you can stay connected if you both opt to do so, but then you might as well add each other on Facebook – and what is this, 2010?

Yang came up with the idea for the app after a Las Vegas bachelor party, when he saw bleary-eyed partygoers desperately thumbing through to different social media accounts in a frenzy of hungover damage control. He realised that the transient joys of a night on the town weren’t suited to the archival format of most social networks.

Sobrr also lets you meet those in your area – although not too many at present, since the app only has a few thousand users. The idea is that you connect with other users on nights out in the same location, without the pressure of having to stay in contact afterwards if you don’t want to.

On paper, the app seems to tap into two very de rigueur trends: the desire for ephemerality best embodied by self-destructing photo app Snapchat, and the casual hook-up culture dragged blinking into the morning light by Tinder. There is a very clear potential behind Sobrr’s ‘meet other drunk people who have no way of staying in touch with you’ business model, and it’s potentially a very lucrative (if somewhat icky) one.


The app provides a stream of photos and updates from the 500 users closest to you, which you have to ‘cheer’ or ‘pass’ on in order to see the next one. This rejection of the usual passivity of scrolling through a social media news feed is, according to Yang, central to the app’s philosophy of bringing together people who would never normally meet one another.

Of course, Sobrr will never become a huge player in the world of social media. But it’s a useful, and positive, reminder that there are a whole host of social networking platforms out there which aren’t looking to hoover up your browsing habits for Big Data or to plonk an American Apparel ad in front of you. Sobrr seems like a social network which is just having fun, and that’s kind of nice.



Douglas is an English Literature graduate who has written about everything from music to food to theatre, now a content creator for Social Media Frontiers. No topic too large or too small. Follow him @DouglasAtSMF.

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Sobrr, The App For The Night You'd Rather Forget Reviewed by Anonymous on Thursday, August 28, 2014 Rating: 5
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