A new iOS app called ShadowMe allows anyone to peek into the Twitter feeds of any other user. Is it an invasion of privacy?
The ShadowMe app allows anyone to see the Twitter feeds of any other user.
It's always been easy on Twitter to see someone else's @-replies by simply by doing a search for, say, "@LadyGaga".
But what if you wanted to see more than that? What if you wanted to pretend you were the global pop superstar and fashion icon, and peek into her Twitter feed to see what all the people she follows were saying?
Until now, there's been no easy way to do that directly through any of Twitter's official apps — although, it's a simple thing to do in a client like TweetDeck. But with the release of ShadowMe, a new app for iOS 6, anyone can peer at any time directly into that small slice of the world that is another person's Twitter feed.
Is it an invasion of privacy? Maybe, from a moral point of view. But not really, because there's never been any restriction on seeing who someone else follows, and then going and seeing what those people were tweeting. But like so many such views into other people's lives, that's a slow, cumbersome workaround, and not something that most people are likely to spend much time doing.
With ShadowMe, however, you don't have to do the heavy lifting. The app does it for you. Simply type in the Twitter account you want to shadow, and the app is designed to let you see that person's feed. What a great way to see what your boss is really interested in. Or who someone you want to date likes to follow. Or what floats Lady Gaga's boat.
The app also lets you search for general categories of people, like footballers. So you don't even have to know, going in, who you want to shadow — it'll help you figure that out.
Will people really want to use this app? It seems easy to imagine a number of people trying it out as a novelty, but then getting bored with it. Then again, maybe people will find this a good way to stay apprised of potential employers' interests, that of business prospects or even just a way to get a little extra entertainment when their own feeds are boring them to death.