Pair, a social network of one

In this modern-day social world, people are begging for a break from the clutter. They are demanding tighter networks, less garbage and more personal interactions across their social networks.

It’s a pretty common story. You see and hear friends talking about a “Facebook cleansing” that consists of removing friends they don’t care to keep in touch with. This usually includes high school classmates and people who you might have met once but don’t really know.

Path is an application that limits your connections to 150 people. No brands—just friends. The application is based on Dunbar’s number, a theory that suggests people are only capable of sustaining a stable social relationship with an average of 150 individuals.

Sure, 150 friends is a good limit, but how about a social network of one? Just you and one other person. In other words, the primo of intimate social experiences.

Believe it or not, this app does exist. It’s called Pair, and it’s an app that I started using religiously after reading an article on Mashable.

The app was developed by a group of five guys (three of which were in long-distance relationships during its development). Since I am currently in a long-distance relationship I decided it would be worth trying out.

Getting started on Pair is similar to the process of other networks, but instead of combing through your entire contact list and connecting with hundreds of people, you send one email invite to the person you wish to pair with.

My favorite part about the app is that it provides a place for all of your interactions with that one person.

Previously, a days worth of communication could include Twitter DMs, Facebook messages, text messages, emails, Skype calls and phone calls. With Pair, all these conversations can take place in one continuous stream.


Types of communication via Pair app:

  • Text – simple SMS-style dialogue (not limited to a certain amount of characters)
  • Photo and video sharing – send photos to one another. They are shared in the stream but also saved in a special camera roll within the app.
  • Sketch – paint and share pictures using a basic color palette and the tips of your fingers.
  • Thinking of you – similar to a like button – it notifies the other person that you are thinking about them.
  • Location – share you GPS coordinates

Now for the sweet advanced features …

  • Thumb kiss – as pictured below, one person initiates a thumb kiss by touching the screen. The recipient of the thumb kiss can see exactly where their partners thumb is located. When the two thumbs press the same spot on the screen there is a vibrate notification and the screen flashes red. It’s almost as good as the real thing.
  • Live sketch – combine your artistic talents and sketch in real-time. You literally see the canvas being filled as your partner draws.

Pair app for iPhone

The best part about this app is the intimacy that it instills.

We often hear people talking about expanding their networks. Unfortunately, when you expand your network you actually become less social. This is something that I like to call the social media paradox. You might be able to reach thousands of people, but how many of them really care what you have to say?

With Pair, you never have to question whether or not the recipient cares. They will always see your post and respond with loving kindness.