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iPhone App Review: Smiggle

iPhone App Review: Smiggle

August 15th, 2011 by

The biggest weakness of most social networking environments is that you somehow have to already somehow know the people that you are socially networking with. Smiggle from developer Rate’nDate Mobile makes it easy for you to meet and chat with new people from all over the world, from anywhere, using just your iOS device.

How It Works

You obviously must create an account first, although you can check out who is online without creating an account or logging in. Anything beyond that requires a login. Creating your profile is familiar stuff: include information that you don’t mind people knowing, add a picture that will show up next to your chat text, and you’re good to go.

The way you meet new people in Smiggle is essentially by doing a “Shoutout”, which is a message you send out and is viewable by the entire Smiggle chatting world. You can browse the feed for other Shoutouts and see if anyone catches your eye, then start a chat with a person that up until that moment was a total stranger. If you find someone interesting and want to be able to continue the conversation later, you can add them to your buddies list.

When you answer a Shoutout it becomes a Chat, and is moved over to your Chats list. Shoutouts that you’ve already seen will disappear forever unless you go into Settings and reset the list. There is also a “Safe Chat” function, which attempts to block objectionable chats. It seems to be on by default, so deactivate at your own risk.

Pros And Cons

The Smiggle service is a great idea, giving you a fun way to meet new people that you would otherwise have no way to come across in your daily mobile travels. As with any service that lets you communicate with perfect strangers, you should exercise diligence and care in what information you give out.

One thing about the app that turned me off was the requirement for a mobile phone number when creating a new profile. If that makes you uncomfortable you can enter a fake number like I did: the app can’t tell and it doesn’t seem to matter. Without any good, valid reason for a mobile phone number it seems prudent to me to not give it out unless absolutely necessary, especially not to a community of total strangers half a world away.

The app itself is well-designed and easy to navigate, including all of the features that you would expect in an app of this type. Chat lists, buddy lists, the ability to report objectionable Shoutouts, and the ability to remain as anonymous as you want.


Smiggle is a fun and unique way to meet new people, outside of the normal constraints of most social networking services. While it’s a little like Chatroulette in that you don’t know who you’ll see on the Feed or what kind of person you’re starting a chat with, that is also part of the appeal and charm. The app and service are free, so there’s no real reason not to give it a shot.

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