Neko.io is a strange social network in that it's a social network that relies on other social networks to work. It's the digital equivalent of having a secret language or encryption system only your friends know, letting you communicate in plain sight of everyone, but only having certain people understand it.
First, you need to sign up for a Neko.io account. You also need Mepin, an iPhone app that's made by the same company, in order to sign up. Mepin is like the reverse of Google Authenticator, in that unique codes are generated the website you're trying to log into and you need to type these into the Mepin app on your phone in order to authenticate yourself.
Once you've signed up, you can start creating secret messages. Neko.io will generate a secret message link for you to paste into Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or emails. The link may be viewable by everyone, but only people who are your friends on Neko.io can read them. That's where the redundancy comes in.
In order for these messages to be readable by anybody, you'll have to invite people to Neko.io, and they all need to have a Neko.io account. Once they're signed up and in your friends list, they can click on the Neko.io link and read what you said. The resulting message will look like the image above.
So what's the point?
The question now becomes, what's the point in having yet ANOTHER social network that you need to post stuff on? Let's enumerate the plusses and minuses.
- You can control exactly who can read your messages
- After the first sign-in and friends list creation, you don't need to regularly use another social network (useful for not having to maintain another set of lists or apps)
- It's somewhat anonymous, because Neko.io doesn't ask for your name, and the only thing identifying this account to you is the Mepin login associated with your phone
- You still need to maintain another social network by adding friends
- There's only one Neko.io group per account, so you can't really have different circles of trust
- It's a new service, so convincing people to sign up for yet another social network may be a pain
- There's not much benefit to Neko.io that you couldn't gain by just creating another social network account on whatever service your friends are on
- People not in your Neko.io list will be annoyed at all these secret messages that keep popping up in your feed
It really depends on your personal preferences as to whether using Neko.io is better than making another social network account. If you have a lot of secret messages to share, it might be useful to make an alternate identity, and then having your friends add that to their networks. On the other hand, not having to deal with two accounts is useful (for you), but sort of annoying for others, if you factor in having them sign up for Neko.io and always having to visit the site to read your secret messages.