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Maadly - A Stranger Social Media Platform

All Around Me Are Unfamiliar Faces...

Nobody in their right mind would suggest that Facebook is a good place to actually make new friends, it's there to help you communicate with people you've already met at least once, even if it was drunk at a party. Especially if it was drunk at a party. One of the guiding principles of social media is to improve the way you interact with people, but you do have to actually know them, otherwise what's the point?

The minds behind Maadly hold a slightly different view. Users on this new app have no option to add friends to their network, all the communication is meant to be done between total strangers. Once signed up, you receive and send out 'beats', these can be photos, videos or just plain text. The beats are then broadcast out to total strangers who will rate them good or bad accordingly, they can also message you if they want.

The guiding principle behind it seems to be to encourage people to put themselves out there and interact with people they've never met and likely never will meet. A sort of social fishing pond, if you like. There doesn't seem to be any direct benefit, but the more actively you use the app, the further your beats will reach, based on what's known as a 'Karma Score'. Beyond that, users are simply encouraged to 'share [their] madness with everyone'.

It's kind of fascinating just how emblematic of the way social media is moving Maadly is. In one sense it's a great example of the ongoing initiative to get people to be more active, and on the other it is just interaction for interaction's sake. Think about it, every other social media platform has some purpose beyond that, whether it's keeping in touch with people you know, sharing your photos with them, dating or just keeping people informed about your various projects. Maadly just kind of is, it's purified, unadulterated social media with no goal beyond simply communicating on mass.

I had a brief play around with the app and found the interface to be somewhat clunky and difficult to get around at first (the video function was particularly unwilling to cooperate) but almost immediately upon opening it I started getting sent beats. It was an interesting mix, from panning shots of a beach to selfies to a rather inexplicable photo of a half finished cup of coke zero.

The chances of Maadly really taking off are probably pretty low, but I hope it does. One of the biggest drawbacks of social media is that it kind of removes that sense of spontaneity from social interaction. I'm not sure how you would translate the frequency of random conversations struck up between strangers over the years into a statistic, but if you could, I'm sure that it's a lot less likely now than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Maadly doesn't exactly remedy that, but if the act of throwing out pictures and videos into a random, chaotic swirl helps people to appreciate the clumsy catharsis of interacting with strangers, so much the better.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Maadly - A Stranger Social Media Platform Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, June 05, 2015 Rating: 5

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