This Might be the Easiest Way to Tell Your Friends You’re ‘Free’ to Hang Out
On an odd Friday night, when you decide you’d rather spend the night in, you want some company to watch a movie or grab a quiet meal. What do you do? You don’t want to spam the handful of close buddies who might already have their plans set for the evening. Nor can you put up a status on a social networking site, lest a creepy acquaintance accepts your invitation and lands up to your door.
Well, here is a solution to that: the ‘Free’ App. This app shows you a list of your friends who are free. It will allow you to share your availability to coordinate easily and make plans with friends. Developed by Danny Trinh, a former lead designer at Path, a social app, he explains:
With smartphones, we’re more connected than ever—there’s Gchat, WeChat, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and more—but as connection has become the default, we’ve lost ways to announce, “I’m up to hang.” In a world where everyone’s online all the time, what’s the actual availability signal on top of that? That’s what we’re trying to build. Put another way, now that we carry chat on us at all times, the green dot is assumed.
Once downloaded, the app asks you to enter your number, register an account and provide your name, a username and your email address. You can set up your photo and use a given list of filters. The app then syncs your contacts.
You can let your friends, who might be nearby at that time, know that you are ready to go out (green), flexible (yellow) or busy at that moment (red). However, for the app to work, you must enable location services on your phone. You can also attach a message, tag friends you are with and select a place and time, just like Facebook. Once you set up your first status, you have the option to choose which buddies to send it to and for how long they can see the message or status. These statuses go into Free’s feed that you can quickly flick through to all your friends’ plans, and disappear the next morning.
True, there are so many social networking apps right now, like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. But the reason Free might win is that it cuts out the clutter to focus back on in-person communication. For now, the app is available only for iOS devices.