This app was previously known as W.A.M (Who’s Around Me).
Channels, available for Android through the Google Play store, is an interesting and pretty unique take on social networking and communication. With the emphasis firmly on the communication aspect, there are ways of interacting here that you simply can’t do with the standard social apps and methods.
The ability to be able to communicate anonymously with people who are in your vicinity is a key part of the app, and is what everything else the app does is based around. The app will ask you for your location, but will require no other information from you at all, and you are then set up and ready to get going. There are some options here, but you don’t need to use them, as the app works great out of the box.
One thing I should note is not to give out any personal details to anonymous users of this app unless you are sure of their intentions or identity.
Once you are set up, you can choose to join any of a number of geo tagged channels, all focussed around different subjects. So, for example there may be a channel in your area that discusses the best bars or clubs to visit. That is a simple example, but there are plenty of options, and the developer has some ideas here:
– To plan a trip and chat with only the people who are going
– To talk to other users anonymously that are at a venue you want to go to but would like to know what its like ahead of time or coordinate where to go next.
– Alert the community to an emergency at a particular location (I made a Channel for an Amber Alert yesterday so people have a way to share information)
– Advertise an event or something for sale (or find something for sale or an event)
– To find a partner or group of people interested in something (i.e tennis partner, gym partner, people interested in sky diving, etc)
– To explore a new area you’ve never been with the ability to talk to real people real-time.
Reminisce with friends or the world anonymously
– To just talk about something cool, funny or interesting with other people. Who knows, you may meet a new friend!
The app is a breeze to use, and is very intuitive with an interface that will pose no problems for even the most non tech savvy user. The menus and flow of the app work very well, and the new iteration is a large improvement on the old one.
The app does open up an interesting world for users, as you can really choose to be whatever you want to be, with the natural anonymity giving rise to people who might otherwise feel held back by the limitations of other social networks. It is an interesting idea, and one that should develop in a fascinating way.
Channels is completely free to download and use for Android, and if it sounds like it is your cup of tea, then we highly recommend trying it out as an interesting experiment that could easily become something more, if it grows a decent userbase.
Channels is also available for iPhone here: iTunes.