The Stalker-Free Path to Ambient Social Networking: Glancee

Glancee is an ambient social networking app devoid of any creepiness.

The app, which you can get for iPhone or Android platforms, is one of the most straight-forward location-based services out there. You just launch the app, and it immediately shows you the Facebook profiles of people nearby. Unlike other similar services, it doesn’t map out exactly where you are in relation to those around you. It simply lets you know who is within 100 yards (or ten miles). This attention to privacy is the product’s main draw, allowing you to scan your area for like-minded people without violating your own privacy by revealing your own location.

The app is remarkably uncomplicated. The only real step is signing in with Facebook. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see who’s near you and if they spark an interest, you can begin a conversation. Unlike most comparable apps (like Highlight), Glancee makes it so that you don’t have to reveal your location to others. Allowing others access to your location at all times, could effectively create a way for others to track you. But with Glance that’s not a worry.

When scanning the lists of those nearby, you can click on someone’s profile photo and it will take you to a page detailing their interests and an add contact button. It will also display commonalities between you and them. For instance, within seconds of launching the app, I was able to find three other people around me who also studied at the University of Miami. If you want to pursue communication, you can immediately start messaging them with the ‘chat’ feature. The app also has a ‘diary’ feature, where you can see your recent conversations using the app.

Notifications are sparse with the app, which is nice when you don’t want to be constantly bothered. I received less that five notifications for the entire week. Although there have been a couple bugs, like the battery draining issue, this app still has the most potential to gather mainstream followers. It has an easy-to-use interface and an important emphasis on privacy.

There are many ambient social networking apps, but Glancee seems to be doing the best job. Others are gaining momentum but all seem to be too niche for broad appeal. For instance, JoinMingle is an app exclusive to professional networking, and Blendr is used for dating, Unsocial is event-based. Glancee seems to be most poised to expand into the future.


  1. A Smart Step Forward Into Ambient Social Networking: Facebook Acquired Glancee | WholeLottaWonder! - May 5, 2012

    […] its competitors Glancee is the easiest to use and least creepy of the bunch. Perhaps this is part of the reason Facebook bought Glancee instead of one of its […]

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