It's Contagious: New App 'Infects' Users With Best Posts

virus
An electron micrograph shows Ebola virus particles in this undated handout image released by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fredrick, Maryland. Lysol suggested in a sponsored ad purchased in Google’s No. 1 search slot that it helps fight Ebola. Reuters

There's a new app in town that wants to level the social media playing field.

Until now, people depended on followers, friends or Klout points to increase and enhance the reach of their social media posts. Now, a new social networking app called Plague, which launched last week, aims to give all users an equal footing, leaving it in their hands to determine what content should go viral.  

Once downloaded and a post is made, Plague acts much like a virus-- “infecting” the four nearest people who also have the app installed with the new content.  In turn, the receivers can either decide to continue disseminating the message by swiping upward--sending the post to an additional four users--or stop it from spreading by swiping downward. There is also an option to comment on posts, but no way of messaging other users. 

Users remain anonymous for the most part. Aside from the original poster and any commenters, those who contribute to a post’s spread are not made public.  

Plague is the brain child of Lithuania-based firm Deep Sea Marketing based.  Plague’s co-creator, Ilya Zudin, told Gigaom that the next step is taking Plague off-the-grid like FireChat--an app that lets users communicate anonymously in the absence of Wi-Fi or cellphone service. His only concern is anonymous communication would foster the spread of offensive or illegal content as it would complicate flagging or blocking users and their posts.