App promoting secret 'pandemic parties' taken offline

An app that helps organise and promote private parties during the coronavirus pandemic has been removed from Apple’s App Store.

Vybe Together bills itself as a ‘private community to find, join and host parties’ and was set up during Covid-19. It urged users to ‘get your rebel on’ and meet up for gatherings despite the dangers of transmitting the virus.

One video, circulated on TikTok, boasted that it held secret parties every weekend.

While it has also been banned from TikTok and its company website has been taken down, Vybe says it will return.

‘App Store took us down! We will be back! Follow to stay updated!’ claims the description on its Instagram account.

According to tech site The Verge, users had to submit a profile picture and Instagram handle for approval – along with photos of themselves ‘partying’.

Once they were given access, they could apply to join parties and have their attendance approved by organisers. They would be given an address just two hours before the event.

According to the Verge, the app boasted a few thousand users and a few more thousand in the application stage.

At the time the app was taken down, it was in the midst of planning a secret New Year’s Eve rave in New York.

The app’s creators have maintained their innocence and explained the app was never intended as a way to break social distancing rules.

‘Vybe Together was [a minimum viable product] designed to help other people organize small get-togethers in parks or apartments during COVID,’ a spokesperson told The Verge.

‘We never hosted any large parties, and we made one over-the-top marketing video that left a wrong impression about our intentions, which has since been taken down. We do not condone large unsafe parties during a pandemic.’

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