In Depth

Meow Chat: what is it and how do I block the endless invites?

Popular chatting app urges users to request their Facebook friends to join up, prompting outcry

Hundreds of people took to Twitter today to complain that they were being bombarded with invitations to join Meow Chat. The app is a new social network featuring pictures of a big orange cat. But what exactly does it do and how can you stop the requests?

What is Meow Chat?

Formerly known as Meow, Meow Chat claims to be one of the fastest growing social networks with millions of members from countries across the world. It began as an instant messaging service, similar to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but has recently added a random chat feature, which randomly pairs up strangers from across the globe. It also allows you to browse nearby users, much like Tinder, and suggests people with whom you might be "compatible". With the ability to swap voice messages and photos and connect with people from specific areas, some say it also works as a dating app in disguise.

Where did Meow Chat come from?

Meow Chat comes from New York app developers Minus, set up by Shanghai-born entrepreneur John Xie, who built his first website at the age of nine, and Carl Hu, a former software engineer at Microsoft and Amazon.

How popular is Meow Chat?

It is currently sitting at the top of the iTunes app chart in the UK and is in the top ten for Android apps. "It is now the number one most downloaded free app in the UK and Australian App Store charts, alongside countries as far-flung as Lithuania, Mongolia, Mauritania and Macau," says the Daily Telegraph.

Nevertheless it has caused mounting frustration from tweeters complaining about the influx of Meow Chat invitations they have received in the past day.

Why do I keep getting Meow Chat invitations?

Everyone who installs the app is asked to connect their Meow Chat account with their Facebook account, giving access to their friend list. It then asks users to invite their Facebook friends to download the app. In the last 24 hours a pop-up message was sent out to users, reminding them to invite their Facebook friends if they did not do so when they first signed up.

How can I block Meow Chat invitations?

On your Facebook home page, click 'Games' on the left. Then click 'Requests' and find your most recent Meow Chat request. Click on the X and you should see an option to 'Block Meow Chat'. Click and confirm and you should be able to avoid further invitations.

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