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  • 03.15.13

An Anti-Social Media App Tells You How To Avoid Crowds

Some people might like apps like Foursquare so they can go be where all the cool kids are, but for the less friendly, a new app from the Netherlands monitors key shopping districts and lets you know when they’re empty enough to visit.

An Anti-Social Media App Tells You How To Avoid Crowds

If, like me, you don’t like a crowd, especially when you’re doing something as mundane as shopping, you’ll appreciate this app. It tells you when stores are likely to be full of people.

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It’s designed by an agency in the Netherlands, called They, and it works by analyzing location-aware services like Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter to see where humans are. You can then get a minute-by-minute reading: calm, not too busy, busy, very busy, and “forget it.”

“Avoid the Shopping Crowds” is available only in four districts in Amsterdam at the moment, but there’s always hope it might be expanded more widely. The agency says it is the first in a series of “anti-social media” designed “to show you where all the cool people … aren’t.” Which sounds just great.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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