#BBCTrending: How do you text someone a hug?

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Media captionMiranda July debuted a new app that puts the social back into social networking. But will it work?

Filmmaker and performance artist Miranda July's new app, Somebody, is designed to put human contact back into social networking.

Sponsored by the fashion line Miu Miu, Somebody is a message-delivery system that relies on total strangers to intercept and deliver your words, in person, to the intended recipient.

"The most high-tech part of the app is not in the programming, it's in the users who dare to deliver a message to a stranger," the app promises.

"In this sense Somebody is a far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and twisting our love of avatars and outsourcing."

Those who have connected via Somebody are posting photos of their encounters with strangers using the hashtags #Somebody #Selfie - but others find that it's harder to connect in person than it seems.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption A #Somebody #Selfie

Can such an ambitious project really work? The BBC took to the busy streets of Los Angeles and New York City to see if the Somebody app was living up to its promise, and if users were getting the message.

Video journalist: Anna Bressanin

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