In the past 24 hours there has been some serious hype about a new app (for iOS and Android) called, Color. CNBC's Julia Boorstin had a good video overview of the app and Business Insider had a great walkthrough of it as well. There have been a few questions surrounding the seemingly overnight success of the app... firstly, how did it get so much funding and secondly what is the true point of it? Many people have poked fun at the app but here are some quotes from a couple of well-known and highly respected individuals in the tech world:
"In short, if Color is used by a statistically significant percentage of folks, nearly every location that matters on earth will soon be draped in an ever-growing tapestry of visual cloth, one that no doubt will also garner commentary, narrative structure, social graph meaning, and plasticity of interpretation." - John Battelle (Post on Business Insider)
"This is the next frontier in social networking for a bunch of reasons. First, curating social graphs is a pain. It takes work. And simply importing your Facebook or Twitter graph is suboptimal for most social services. You then need to add and delete to get the right graph for the right app. And second graphs change over time. Who has time to constantly manage their social graphs. So they get stale and one day you say "why I am following this person?" or "why is this person a friend on Facebook?" And maybe most imporantly, sometimes you only want a social graph for a weekend, a day, an hour, or a minute. The only way to make that work is to construct it implicitly." - Fred Wilson (Post via AVC blog)
I am slightly confused. Although a lot of people are claiming this to be the next big thing in social networking, I am not convinced that this app is the answer. I agree with Fred Wilson that the idea of an implicit social graph is one that will truly revolutionize things and I also agree with John Battelle (in his full post, not the quote) that ultimately it is execution that will win it. Here is my point of contention with this app: It only works when you are within 100 feet of other people who are using the app... so here's the million dollar question... when you ARE within 100 feet of them, are you going to... stare at the pictures on your phone? or... physically interact with the people who are within 100 feet of you? Doesn't the one act seem far more social than the other?
The app makes complete sense if you are trying to remember events from the past via pictures stored on your phone and after watching the walkthrough, it seems this feature is quite well built on the app. There is still a very big issue of privacy here because any picture stored on the app automatically goes public... any picture. Just add a little alcohol into the equation and with the app's innate ability to share via Twitter and Facebook... there may be problems.
It really is too early to tell how successful this app is going to be. I will certainly be paying close attention to the progress of this story and will most definitely write a follow-up post once a reasonable amount of time has passed. In the mean time, if you have either an iPhone or an Android-based phone, please check the app out and tell me what you think of it! I am beyond curious.
Go ahead, add some color to your life.