There's an App in San Francisco That Lets You Check Out the Bar's Vibe and Spy on Drunk People

  • The app is called 2nite and its aims to promote and publicize local bars.

  • The problem is it broadcasts live images, which is an invasion of privacy.

In San Francisco, there’s an app to find out the mood of a bar. And to gossip about drunk people
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Imagine the following: You want to go out for a drink with your friends to a nice place with a good vibe where you feel comfortable. How can you know that before walking in the door? You might think, “If only there were an app that would let me check out the bar on the inside to see if it's worth it.” Something like the Google Maps feature that tells you when a place is crowded, but in the context of bars.

Well, it already exists in San Francisco.

And it’s not such a great idea.

2nite. That’s the name of the app. Launched earlier this year, it’s the “all in one app for managing, promoting, and discovering nightlife,” according to its website. According to The San Francisco Standard, the company behind 2nite has installed cameras in several San Francisco venues (between five and eight locations) so that users can see a video feed what's going on live through the app.

Screenshot of 2nite’s Instagram profile. Screenshot of 2nite’s Instagram profile.

The idea. It’s not so much about watching people drink beer at a bar—there’s better programming on streaming platforms—but rather about venues promoting their events. For example, imagine there's a bar that has a live DJ that night. It could broadcast it through the app to get the word out and attract people. That’s the case with Club Cali in Berkeley, which broadcasts live every Friday and Saturday.

Venue owners decide when to turn the cameras on and off. As Lucas Harris, one of 2nite's founders, explains, “The primary purpose is to provide a view of live shows in bars, clubs, and other venues.” According to Harris, 3,000 people have already used the platform, and 300 are repeat users. And for now, it’s all free.

Sorry for the party rocking. Older folks may remember an app called SceneTap. In 2012, this platform tried to do something similar, with the twist that you could also find out the male/female ratio and average age of people in the venue. It wasn't very successful. Some critics of 2nite believe it's a similar invasion of privacy.

After all, why should a person who is quietly—or not so quietly—drinking at a local bar have to appear in a livestream online for people around the world to see? The problem is that it’s an invasion of the user’s privacy but also a way of advertising for venues and bars. In any case, it didn’t take long for criticism of the app to appear on social media.

Harris’ opinion. “I continue to believe that you don’t go to a bar or club for privacy. You are surrounded by strangers,” the 2nite founder told the San Francisco Standard. Anyone who's played Assassin’s Creed knows that the best way to camouflage yourself is to blend in with the crowd, but 2nite has already taken the first steps.

Blurred streams. In response to the situation, 2nite has decided to blur the image of the streams to the point where people’s faces are unrecognizable. The intention is to blur only the faces of the audience so the users still can see the artists playing at the venues.

There are positive opinions, though. The app’s idea isn’t bad, but its implementation requires certain obligations in terms of privacy. Some venue owners interviewed by the local outlet said the project is good because it can promote local businesses and the bands playing there.

Imagen | Pexels

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