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Highlight is very viral and very freaky

You've seen it on Technologizer: http://technologizer.com/2012/01/24/highlight-a-social-network-for-the-real-world/

You've seen it on Techcrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/24/highlight/

This is the coolest app I've seen this year. At one San Francisco party I saw it spread like wildfire through the entire party in about 20 minutes. Very viral.

But very freaky. It shows me when you're nearby.

Will you use it? Here's founder Paul Davison showing it to me and explaining more about what it does.

Sorry, two limitations: iPhone only at this point and you must have Facebook.
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114 comments
 
bet there is or will be an android app soon afterwards :)
 
Hey, i have an idea, tell the guys making it to make an Android version? :)
 
and it's only available in the US App Store.
 
it actually looks pretty awesome!
 
Checking it out now, sounds interesting if they have an API to use with our mapping technology.
 
This seems pretty much the same as Google Latitude?
 
+Digi Jeff Lange except my friends are already on this and aren't using Google Latitude. Much nicer, by the way. Google Latitude is trying too hard to be private.
 
This is a very interesting concept to me. However, both Sonar and Banjo are doing very similar things, and have been doing them for a while. +Robert Scoble what makes this so much more interesting to you than those two apps??
 
+Nicholas Tomaino no checkins. Much simpler UI. My friends actually use it. Affordance for SXSW style events much better.
 
Their home screen is giving me a headache, but I'm trying it out. Cuz I want to be stalked.
 
I'm actually more comfortable with Check-Ins +Robert Scoble as they are something I have to initiate with deliberate intention.
 
> Sorry, two limitations: iPhone only at this point and you must have Facebook

Strike one and two.
 
I'd use it for sure, given a Google login and Android app
 
I understand what your saying +Robert Scoble
Clearly you are more Social than I. I don't like the idea of forgetting to turn this sort of thing off when I'd rather not be noticed
 
Part of the reason I use Google's location sharing... There is Latitude for all-the-time sharing, like with my wife and close friends, and check-ins for everyone else
 
+Robert Scoble Welcome to G+. Have you not seen that here we shun apple and FB!? That headline contains 2 kisses of death so we now need to invent a new term for it. Necromantic kiss of death perhaps? USA only is just kicking a dead kissed horse at this point.

When you come back and say "Now on any phone around the world!" let me know.
 
Similar to relaunched Path app that lets your friends know where you are all the time by automatically journaling it for you. Yes?
 
ANOTHER example of what a freakin' waste of time "social networking" is.
 
+Robert Scoble i saw the video and Paul seems very intelligent. He understands the product and its potential.Highlight is cool.Will be interesting to see how it goes.
 
Day by day we are loading our smart phone with more innovations. The sad part is that the pace of hardware innovations is not catching up with the software additions, is killing the phone, in terms of battery life and processor memory.
 
I don't use Facebook so this is out for me anyway.
But I don't mind and often do a G+ Check In.
I'd never use Latitude either because there is no one on Earth I want to share my location with automatically at all times. Hell, if I had it my way I wouldn't let myself know where I am 1/2 the time.
 
I think there are too many apps that are being developed that should use other common sites like latitude, facebook, foursquare. It's almost like I have to download several apps to do close to the same thing. From what I gathered, only people that use highlight will be shown up, why not try to figure out a way to use FB, Latitude, Foursquare within it so it's not just highlight users?
 
+kip Hartwell I really don't care about the anti Apple or anti-Facebook stances here. Makes life even more fun. Good luck with the phone that doesn't have the best apps. The guy who used to run Google in China, Kai-Fu Lee, is using an iPhone. That says volumes to me.
 
+Robert Scoble I guess they wouldn't all work out because they are not real time, but if someone checked into you close by that is friends on Facebook, it should maybe alert you? But I guess they are trying to bring in mutual friends as well which would be hard for integration of Facebook.
 
So wait, I keep arguing that G+ isn't just an Apple hating sausage fest and +kip Hartwell says it is? smh
 
There are plenty Apple fans on here and I have constructive conversation with many that, unlike other sites, doesn't always have to deteriorate to ridiculousness...
 
It would be interesting to try, but they have decided that Android users are not worth supporting.
 
LOL +Robert Scoble The best apps... Like how the Titanic was the best ship. But it is the USA only part I hope they fix first.
 
I'm all for the pushing of tech forwards, be it thru convenience,speed, or sheer innovation but how does this not scream "over-sharing". I'd much rather use Google Latitude and have more granular control.
 
I'm not sure where you got that +Markus Siebeneick ... in the video it clearly states that they choose to develop the App on iPhone and are in fact planning to do Android once they get it all ironed out.
 
Facebook makes it a non-starter at this point. When will these companies start to pick up the G+?
 
+Robert Scoble is checkins really that relevant wouldn't ppl use foursquare instead unless you think this is a shot over the bow of foursquare flag ship feature?
 
Why is this not on the Canadian app store? Not happy about that. Is there a reason? This is not exciting at all.
 
+Ivan Heffner sigh. It's not anything like Foursquare. Get that out of your mind. I hate checking in and especially wouldn't be appropriate for the kind of functionality this app does.
 
Interesting app. I'd love to try it! But I hope they make the 'off' button obvious and easy to get to. Maybe in the future integrate SIRI. I don't want people coming up to me in certain places.
 
When will it hit the Aussie store?
 
Just got to actually watch the video... This is awesome, wish it could be used with G+ though...
 
I downloaded it and the turn-it-off-don't-let-anyone-know-where-I-am button is obvious and the Facebook part seems to be just your profile info. But I'd imagine their hope will be that there'll be some integration going on. Maybe.
 
+Ivan Heffner Devs will start using G+ instead of facebook when G+ can show the stickiness of facebook or even Pinterest. It can't be a bunch of tech heads who tear down an app even before they try it. In the end, Devs want to make money and you go where the money is. It's platform agnostic.
 
+Duane Myers Tech heads seems like a great place to start... They're the ones with the tech gear... Also, even Scoble seems gitty over the thought of this app at SXSW...

I try not to bash a product because they released in one platform or another first... Resources are limited choices have to be made...
 
+Robert Scoble, I love your interviews but can you cut down on the interruptions? Anyone else notice this or just me?
 
Very interesting! An iOS/Android launch would have been twice as interesting. As I post from my Nexus S.
 
finally here..I had been waiting for a app like this when I was single :-)
 
Interesting. Needs an Android App. Launching on FB was a natural due to their member base. Adding G+ and perhaps Schemer would be diabolical. I wonder if Romney has installed it yet as he looks for votes (friends) in Fla?
Jeff F.
 
Seems creepy to me. I'm not comfortable with the idea at all.
 
can't get it canada - but no thanks. too invasive for me.
 
Hey +Robert Scoble, great interview. I'm amazed at the lack of imagination by people here in this thread. This is clearly one of the most important technological advancements ever made in mobile. Seriously, this is going to change everything.

Obviously they're going to develop Android and Worldwide versions ASAP, or someone else will. They'll remove the dependence on FB, incorporating Twitter and G+ social signals.

But I think the biggest advancements will come as they give people more fine-grained control over what they project (only specific interests, close friends, industry-based networking), and when they're active (private locations, no; public locations, yes).

Just like Hangouts on G+, this has the potential to change the way people interact with one another in real life. People who get comfortable with the privacy side of the app will navigate to each other in public spaces and HIRL (hangout in real life).

If the folks at Google Latitude are paying attention, I'd pivot that service immediately to embrace this model, utilizing G+ as the social layer.
 
+Robert Scoble It looks like a good idea, not revolutionary but a reasonable execution. Being in Australia, I can't test it out, but would be keen to know more about the impact of the location sharing on device resources -> battery drain. As they say, it'll improve in the future as they optimise it, but that doesn't help right now if you're losing 20% of your battery just running it for a couple of hours.
Furthermore, they better hope they get traction quickly because for Facebook to include this functionality in their Android and iOS apps COULD happen quickly, although unlikely to happen quickly, right +Mark Zuckerberg?
 
When is this available in Australia?
 
I've been running it for a few hours now and seems to be a pretty big drain on my battery as GPS is always on. Should be interesting to see how it performs after a few days of real world use. 
 
+Jose Malacara I thought that may be the case - I'd be interested to hear how it's going after a couple of days.
 
Downloaded this... now I have to tell my three friends with iOS devices to get it.
 
So instead of socializing with people that you are literally standing next to, you use this thing. Brilliant.
 
Actually, this could instigate a social experience by showing you that the person that is standing next to you may be a friend of a friend... or is somebody you've run into before.
 
Unfortunately, Highlight is only available on iTunes' US Store at the moment :(
 
It's a pity you can't use it on an iPad as there is no GPS. :( +Robert Scoble suggest this, it should be available as wifi etc. can be as accurate at times for location.
 
make it work with linkedin and it will become a valuable business tool. Facebook only makes it a toy I will never use.
 
Android? what's the use of iPhone apps these days when most people are on android?
 
+Jon Giuliani, perhaps developers don't want to write down to Android 2.2 which they need to reach that "most"? And just because there are fewer iPhones than Android phones does not mean that the iPhone app market is small in any sense.
 
While y'all are iPhoned and ear-budded I'm going through your stuff. Just sayin.
Reality, visit soon.
 
+Jon Giuliani iPhones sold 38 million last quarter. The app developers tell me there's a lot of reasons that they build on iPhones first.

1. iPhone monetizes better. Not just eBay's CEO told me that, but many others have told me that too.
2. iOS is better for developers. That comes from Rackspace's own apps team (hi +Mike Mayo ) but Path told me that too and so have many others.
3. App discovery is better.
4. Usage is higher per phone (Starbucks and eBay's CEO both told me that).

These stats aren't changing fast enough to pull the coolest developers into Android first.
 
This is like a modern version of Nokia Sensor.
 
Thanks both; I'm just very frustrated about it all! Great app, will just have to wait...
 
Seems that everyone is missing the obvious, if no one around you has the app it won't do anything. I think it sounds incredible, but i worry it will function like g+ for me. Lots of amazing people but no one I know is at the party. Midwest Living!
 
The logo on the website really hurts my eyes :( (I'm colour blind maybe that's why?)
 
iphone only? Must have facebook? No thanks.
 
This has very interesting possibilities. It will be fun to watch this unfold.
 
What a great idea... this is what was in my head when i first heard the term social graph... really cool congrats guys.
 
I have absolutely no interest in anything that forces me into a social network. If your apps requires me to sign in to some other network then the answer is no.
 
Milleniums will love this though. Privacy is just a different concept for them (yeah I am not a millenium ;-) This will take off like wildfire IMO. Enormous opportunities for businesses if this matures as well. Just imagine going through the drive through and not having to tell them what you want and how you like your coffee, because they can read it right from your profile and btw, also from the person sitting next to you in your car.
 
love Highlight. it's the future and this is just the beginning.
 
+Robert Scoble I totally think this is 'freaky' but I love the passion and sparkle in the eye of Paul when he is talking about it. Brilliant!
 
I think to make this useful it would have to allow me to have strict control over my visibility and what information is shared with who when I do elect to be visible. Preferably based on some automated rules that I can setup (i.e., number of people in common, number of times in close proximity, similar work, or something), and anyone that doesn't make it through the automated rules can either be ignored or brought to my attention for manual inclusion depending on how my system is currently set.

I kind of look at like going to the party and handing out business cards. Sure... lots of people know you're there. You don't necessarily want to meet all of them, and of the ones you do meet you may only want to exchange contact information with a small set. That's how I would see it being useful.

Then again all of that may have been covered in the video and I just missed it. :P
 
I like this kid's moxie. Hope it comes to Android to play around with, looks like a lot of fun.
 
+Robert Scoble looks awesome but why isn't it on the other app stores yet.. not everyone is in the US :)
 
+Robert Scoble, this idea certainly has great functionality, but the question I have is (and this may go along with a common criticism of mine about apps out there) is it enough, and does it warrant it's own app. It's essentially a one function wonder. Small feature apps will be inevitably be replaced by ones with larger scope. This is much more so the case with social apps.

There is no question that the world of social networking will eventually merge location based features as it grows, and I am glad that steps are being taken. In fact this seems to be the greatest thing out there in it's current state. I just don't see this going anywhere. I realize that as an investor you must want this to succeed more than anyone, so your enthusiasm is very understandable.

About checkins being a thing of the past, i couldn't disagree more. it's a thing of the past because location apps are losing momentum and no one is interested anymore. As location is merged and more people start using it, things like checkins will become much more relevant than they are today. local companies will want to jump on board a well as it essentially provides a way for them to get cheap/free advertising (and you know that everything revolves around that).

It makes sense to start social apps on iPhone right now, so no problem with that. Locking into facebook, not so much, although how much choice do they really have...

I could certainly see Latitude doing this right in the future, they have recently been adding features, so it would seem that it's important enough to them. The key is integration, and probably the reason that Highlight will fail. If Latitude lets up on the privacy concerns much in the way that g+ seems to be going, i could see this working quite well. my main concern is that they won't give in enough precedence to gain traction. I'm thinking front page g+ space. the g+ mobile app already has posts from your area, so people in your area is the next logical step.

I would be curious to hear what your thoughts are about this.
 
Wasnt Loopt doing this with the Metro Pcs?
 
I heard Scoble talk about the app on TWIT. I downloaded it and gave it permission to facebook. Big mistake. The stupid app emailed everyone, texted everyone, faxed to any fax numbers I had. The app is just another hack to your personal information for exploitation. Scoble, what's your financial interest in this?
 
+James Jordan, Jr I never have financial interest in any apps. It doesn't do any of that, though. So, I take it you are a troll.
 
+Geoffrey Woo sorry, Glassmap is only for friends and family, according to the iTunes page. That's NOT what Highlight is about. But I'm trying it now anyway.
 
+Geoffrey Woo I've now tried Glassmap and I totally disagree with you -- Highlight is a LOT better for what it does. +Juan Vision not that I remember, but I might have missed that in Loopt.
 
+Robert Scoble you're right. my initial comment was a quick poke to grab your attention. glassmap is not about social discovery; it's about keeping in touch with friends in the real world. we think random stranger social discovery is pretty gimmicky and intrusive for real-world use. Liz Gannes (allthingsd) wrote a nice article comparing the two of us:
http://allthingsd.com/20120216/glassmap-and-highlight-take-on-the-next-frontier-of-location-sharing-doing-it-all-the-time/

i sent you an email a couple weeks ago. happy to chat in more detail about our story (stanford dropouts, yc alums) when you have time.
 
it did fax when it got all my emails. I use myfax.com and for some reason gmail has put these 1xxxxxxxxxx.myfax.com numbers in my contacts. Highlight sent "emails" which were faxed to these numbers. Highlight is horrible.
 
+Robert Scoble I think Highlight has the potential to be mentioned in the same breath as Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. It has the potential to plug the giant hole between the real world and online presences. More of this opinion on DVWLR.com: http://bit.ly/zenDls
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