The service, named Vybe Together, targeted users who wished to either host or attend underground parties, urging individuals to “Get your rebel on. Get your party on.” While it managed to lay low for most of the year, the company recently entered the spotlight after The New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz discovered it and posted a screenshot in a critical Twitter post.
Since then, Vybe Together has taken down its own website, with Apple pulling its app from the App Store completely. TikTok also shut down its official account, which was mainly used as a marketing channel for the service. Despite many of the gatherings it promoted being illegal across numerous states due to social distancing and lockdown regulations, a spokesperson for the company insists that the service does not promote unsafe behavior.
“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.”
With its website and TikTok account taken down, Vybe Together’s Instagram page carried one single text post reading “Blown out of proportion by media. We DO NOT CONDONE LARGE GATHERINGS” before shortly closing down the account entirely.
Some terrible people built a whole app for finding and promoting COVID-unsafe large, indoor house parties and they’re using TikTok to market it to millions of ppl. pic.twitter.com/zYhBiFH4vR
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) December 29, 2020
Elsewhere in coronavirus-related news, AMC is in need of $750 million USD in cash to survive through 2021.