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Chances are, you woke up this morning to a Facebook notification inviting you to download an app called Meow Chat. But what on earth is it, and should you download it?

If you woke up this morning to see a flood of Facebook notifications inviting you to download something called Meow Chat, you’re not alone.

It seems this relatively little known instant messaging app has got a little invitation-happy in the last day or so, with people getting dozens of messages from friends encouraging them to download it.

But what on earth is Meow Chat? And should you download it?

It’s either the biggest thing since WhatsApp or a source of intense irritation – here’s everything you need to know.

What is Meow Chat?
It’s kind of a cross between an instant messaging app – like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger – and a dating app.

It lets you swap text and picture messages with friends, or hook up with random people.

And as the name suggests, there are a lot of pictures of cats.

Where did it come from?
It’s been around for a few months. It started as a plain old instant messaging service, letting people connect with friends.

It’s had a relaunch this month after the team behind it, New York app developers Minus, introduced a random chat feature.

Why has everyone I know suddenly invited me to download Meow Chat?
When you install the app, it asks you to connect your Meow account to your Facebook account. That gives it access to – among other things – your friend list.

At the end of the process, it asks you to invite your friends to download the app. The reason for the mass of invitations coming out in the last 24 hours seems to be that a pop-up message has been sent out to any users who didn’t do that when they signed up, encouraging them to invite all their friends to the app.

The pop up says: “Meow is more fun with friends and it expands your network.”
How does the random chat feature work?
Tap the big orange cat icon at the bottom of the screen and you’ll instantly be thrust into a random room full of people to chat with.

At its most basic level, it connects based on geography – until you fill out your profile, it’ll match you with people in the same country as you.

Developers Minus say that the more you tell the app about yourself by filling in your profile with interests and hobbies, the better it gets at matching you with people you might want to chat with.

Is it all random?
As well as matching you with random people, it lets you browse nearby users, again suggesting people with whom you might be “compatible.”

So it’s kind of a cross between WhatsApp, Tinder and OK Cupid.

Is it popular?
It claims to be the “fastest growing social network with millions of members from every country” and their Facebook page shows more than 1m monthly users.

If the sheer volume of Facebook invitations going round is anything to go by, it’s hugely successful – although by the looks of things, the constant requests have now become spam to many people.

It’s possible what seemed like a good idea to grow their user base could have backfired.


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