When you post to social media it often feels like your content disappears into a mysterious netherworld. Sure, you may get a few likes or retweets, but it’s difficult to know the full impact.
Try out Plague if you’re hungry for more details about the viral nature of what you have to say. When you share a post you get to track its spread across the world on a map that looks like it’s used by the Centers for Disease Control to keep tabs on an outbreak.
The interface kind of reminds me of Secret, with each post presented as a single card with text or an an accompanying image. You can swipe up to spread the post, which means it “infects” five (or more) other people. Swipe down to ignore it and move on to another.
But sharing your own post is where you get the real fun. You can track its shares across the network, getting details about the number of views and where others are when they decide to spread the infection.
To test it out, I shared a picture of one of my cats lounging on my office chair. Within minutes ten others had already re-shared it, going as far as the east coast (I’m in California) and to Canada. It turns out cat pics still do well no matter which social network they’re on.
Fortunately, you can control whether you get notifications on comments on your shares to make the app less annoying if your post literally goes viral.
Also, you can connect your Plague account to Twitter if you want to promote your new social presence and try to move your digital infection along.
It’s hard to tell how large the Plague community is, as at times I would see the same username on several successive posts. For the app to take off, it needs a diverse enough group sharing across plenty of topics to make it worth coming back several times throughout the day.
Plague strictly forbids any content that is “pornographic or obscene,” which may explain why no such material popped up when spending a few days with the app. Some posts seems spammy by focusing on product promotion, but overall it’s nice to not run into things you don’t want to see.
Plague is a great time killer, especially if you’ve grown tired of the curated stream of posts from Facebook or the rapid firehose of Twitter. It’s unclear what kind of revenue plans Plague has going forward; it’ll be interesting to watch to see if it can break through all the social noise.
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