Wednesday, April 09, 2008

iPhone-based social networking

I link to TechCrunch a lot, partially because Michael Arrington and his crew really get how emerging technologies are changing communication in social and workplace contexts. Today's post describes an upcoming iPhone-specific social network that allows you to detect other nearby network members and friend them in person:

The startup behind the new application won’t let me disclose their name yet. But the application is awesome. It shows you everyone around you who has it installed on an iPhone (default privacy is set to off, but can be changed). Users can scroll through nearby users, and set filters for men, women or age ranges. If you find someone interesting you can pull up their profile and ping them. If they respond you can start a chat, on the phone or in person. Of course, they can also choose to block you.

Location is based on the triangulation feature of the iPhone, which is accurate enough to get this going. And the startup thinks they’ve found a way around the fact that third party iPhone applications can’t run in the background (meaning you’d have to have the application open, and not use any other iPhone features, to run the social network and see others). They explained the work around in general terms to me, but asked that it remain confidential for now.

iPhones and similar smart phones are increasingly important, and they're at hand all the time. I got to see some relatives this weekend who are not particularly tech-savvy, but who have iPhones and love them -- they've become texting, emailing, and browsing fiends. A workable social network whose primary platform is the iPhone would have a decent chance of taking hold with them.

I Saw The Future Of Social Networking The Other Day
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