If you weren't already convinced the internet is making the world smaller, a new social chat app will wash away any doubts.
Minus is a geo-chatting app that let's you send messages and photos to other users who are online, all around the globe. The founders call the app Minus for its function of subtracting the distance between people and places across the globe. It's definitely fun to use: When you click "explore," a little orange airplane starts flying around the world. Wherever it lands, it shows you everyone online in that region.
When I first signed on, a few chats popped up right away with people saying "hello," everywhere from Algeria to Atlanta to my own neighborhood. If that sounds a little intrusive, the team, based in New York, is working to make sure users' privacy is protected. You can go offline, put up a "do not disturb" message, or block certain users from contacting you. While it's not likely you'll form a "real-world" friendship with a person who lives halfway around the planet, it can be pretty exciting to chat virtually with someone from a totally different culture.
This is the most interesting thing about Minus, if you ask me. Unlike so many social networking sites that focus on making an introduction online that eventually is expected to migrate offline, Minus suggests a virtual-only relationship is still one worth having.
Ultimately, the startup aims to bring people closer together, geography be damned.