Miranda July teams up with Carrie Brownstein to fix her app

If you’re dedicated enough to Miranda July’s particular flavor of unsettling, twee-ish weirdness, you might have tried her app, Somebody, when it first launched. The app was bizarre enough to necessitate a 10-minute explainer video, but the bummer was that even if you managed to wrap your head around it, Somebody was actually just straight-up broken.  

Now, Miranda July and frequent collaborator Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia/Sleater-Kinney fame are at it again, with a video promising that everything will be different when Somebody launches again. 

What the app tried to do is really tough to explain, but July’s site tries to sum it up like so:

“Send your friend a message… a stranger will deliver it verbally! Or you can deliver someone else’s message!” 

While Somebody is reworked, it will no longer be available from the App Store. If it hadn’t been plagued by bugs, the app would have given rise to a sort of public, pop-up interactive art experience, equal parts creepy and clever.

We tried to use it ourselves, but the short interval it gave users to claim a message made it all but impossible and a few involved futile sprints to a phone a few rooms over. Hopefully things are different next time around, but at the very least we wish everyone who puts out a terrible app would be so forthright when it flops.

Screenshot via Somebody/YouTube

Taylor Hatmaker

Taylor Hatmaker

Taylor Hatmaker has reported on the tech industry for nearly a decade, covering privacy and government. Most recently, she was the Debug editor of the Daily Dot. Prior to that, she was a staff writer and deputy editor at ReadWrite, a tech and business reporter for Yahoo News, and the senior editor of Tecca. Her editorial interests include censorship, digital activism, LGBTQ issues, and futurist consumer tech.