Somewhere in all the chatter of Color’s $41 million pre-launch round, there’s an app. At first I didn’t get it - competitor to Instagram? Foursquare photos? No, neither. It’s easy to get lost in the jargon of social networks, location-based services, and real-time communication. There are no user accounts, no ability to follow others. Color, at its core is a location-based social network that aggregates visual and contextual events within a 100 foot vicinity. This range can be expanded depending on the scope of submissions, for example 2-3 blocks away from a stadium during a sporting event, or 4-5 miles during a natural disaster.
At first, I couldn’t even find the app in the iTunes store. So I went to their site on mobile Safari and got through using the app store link. After entering my name and uploading an avatar image of myself, I started to explore, but within 2 minutes of use, I got an error message to update the app, though there were no updates in the store to install. Using other devices, we started to test features like posting, “liking,” commenting, and flagging. We flagged my avatar to see what would happen. A few hours later, I attempted to reinstall the app to see if it would fix, and my account was suspended because my image was flagged. Awesome.
But once I was able to really use Color for a while, I got it. Color can determine whether or not a group within the same area is taking pictures of the same thing, aggregate them together, and will display the most “liked” image at the top. Tristan Walker, Foursquare’s head of business development, tweeted:
Ok. @color is the real deal. I’m bought in. Just had my first serendipitous meetup because of it already!
We saw a picture posted of someone’s workplace and I assumed that it was a company I thought I knew. After a few comment exchanges, we found out it was another agency 2 blocks down from where we were.
There is no doubt that this will change news reporting similar to CNN’s iReport Open Stories only without the need to submit towards a pre-determined subject. Because content is geotagged, the system will aggregate everything for you. Color is already working on a news API which will allow users to post pictures and automatically link them to news stories that have been posted and mapped by journalists.
We’re all forgetting that the app is on version 1.0, so there’s a lot yet to be implemented. Bill Nguyen has a serious product with impressive technology backed behind it. There’s no doubt that Color’s investors see the big picture too.