He calls it “elastic networking,” meaning your social graph is constantly updating based on use, proximity, and interaction. There are no friend requests on Color. There are no profiles. When you get nearby a fellow Color app user, he or she will automatically pop into your social circle, or “visual bulletin.” Depending on how much you interact with this person, Color will automatically adjust who shows up on the bulletin, and who does not. – Bill Nguyen via Fast Company
$41 million can buy you a lot of publicity.
In this case, $41 million in funding directed at the startup, Color.com. Nguyen thinks we need a whole new kind of social networking, one that requires no login, no password, no filters and apparently no ability to share past your mobile screen.
I downloaded the app last night and attempted to play with it, which, by the way, is impossible in a room all by yourself. The app only becomes even remotely useful if others in your immediate vicinity also have the app and also find the moment interesting enough to open the app and snap a photo. And, they have to be willing for that event to be just interesting enough to take a photo of, but not interesting enough anywhere but your phone, since the app, as of this writing, has no visible way of sharing the information anywhere but on your mobile device. There are several things wrong with that scenario.
Of course, Nguyen doesn’t think so. He adds, “When I go to a restaurant or public event or cafe, don’t I want to know some of these people around me?” Actually, I usually don’t. And I usually don’t care what they’re taking photos of. And I don’t care to share my photos with them.
You know what I care about? I care about my friends and what my friends are doing. And, unlike Nguyen, I don’t want to see the bad photos from their vacation. ” And I want to be able to look at those photos in more places than just my phone. Of Facebook, Nguyen says, “It’s become: Look at how amazing my vacation is, or look what great shape I’m in! It’s just become a highlight reel–and not real life anymore.” I almost spit out my tea when I read that.
Transparency is overrated.
If I take a photo at a cafe, I want to share it with my friends who aren’t there. But not if it’s a crappy photo. Call me crazy. The articles being written today hint at a future with Color that will involve tweeting. It better. It better involve some kind of sharing, for me anyway. I know they’re storing the photos somewhere, so there must be a plan. Or not. Hey, Nguyen got $41 million to execute on his plan. It must be amazing. Right?
So, despite my first reaction, I’m going to have the app loaded next week at RETech South. I’m going to coerce a few friends into downloading it as well and hope they don’t hate me for it later. Perhaps I’ll experience some conversion experience (it’s happened before), but right now, I’m not seeing how this will ever be more than a brief moment of internet hype for me.