Usually my teenage daughter alerts me to the latest app trends that I'm not cool enough to discover, but I've unearthed something way before her today. While Google was busy launching 500 new messaging apps yesterday, a smaller competitor released something called Rawr Messenger, and it's a lot more unconventional.
Rawr is a fascinating combination of messaging and Xbox-like avatars that's clearly designed for teens. Once you've created your avatar and supplied your phone number, you can chat with friends or random people using a virtual version of yourself. Hashtags like #kick let you kick a friend in the crotch, or you can initiate a kind embrace with #hug. There's even one to #twerk, and the avatars will also respond to certain keywords in a conversation. Both you and your friend will see the entire conversation and the avatars interacting with each other.
The app only launched on iOS yesterday, so it's a lonely experience if you don't have any friends using it, but there's a virtual bear ready to show you the basics. The avatars have a surprising amount of moves, including the ability to pull out props like flags and burgers. During my limited testing, I made out with a colleague for testing purposes, who promptly vomited and then farted in my general direction.
Matching random people using Rawr feels like a Chatroulette lottery, but it's a lot less open to abuse as picture sharing is only reserved for friends. I spoke to a bunch of randoms and most had found the app through Instagram or YouTube. It's early days for Rawr, but if you're obsessed with hashtags, emoji, and kicking friends virtually then it's available immediately in the App Store. Happy twerking.