After discovering that BBM and their Twittery playthings fed straight into the hands of the cops, smartphone-toting revolutionaries have taken up a new type of instant messaging – Vibe.
Like Twitter in that it is open and lets you mass-message, Vibe is unlike Twitter in that all messages or "vibes" are anonymous. You can set how far you want them to be available too – from 15 metres to global.
The messages self-destruct after a set period of time: from 15 minutes to forever. That makes it much more attractive to those who want to bring down the Man via the medium of street protest, but don't want the Man, or their mothers, or the police looking at twitpics of themselves jumping up and down on burning bin-bags.
According to the New York papers, Vibe is now the instant messaging app of choice for the protesters at Manhattan's #OccupyWallStreet.
Though it is innocently described on the iTunes store as a good way to chat to other people near you at football games or conferences, developer Hazem Sayed, who is based in New York, is actively keen for his app to be adopted by the protesters.
It seems to be catching on:
The NY Daily News interviewed protester Drew Hornbein, a member of the camp's Internet Committee, who explained its uses to the paper:
"Let's say you're protesting and someone up ahead sees that the cops are getting ready to kettle people, they can send out this vibe that only lasts a few minutes that says, 'Cops are kettling'," said Hornbein.
"It's anonymous too, so not only are you able to send out relevant information to a small radius, but it also disappears, there's no record of it, so no one can come after the person who sent it."
Another social media platform for Theresa May to worry about. ®