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(adapted from my answer on Quora that has over 100 votes)
There is something very interesting, and potentially game-changing, in what Color, the much maligned photo sharing app, is trying to do.
I subscribe to the view that one is better served by different groupings of people (who might not even be your friends) for different use cases–this is the social circles problem. An example is where you don’t want to share the same information with your personal and professional friends.
The solution is being referred to as the implicit social network. It’s not a new idea. Fred Wilson points out that “this sort of implicit social graph came almost six years ago via my musical neighbors graph at last.fm.” But it’s an idea that appears to have become eclipsed by Facebook over the last three to four years.
Now, it’s worth remembering out that Zuckerberg himself has raised the social circles problem. However, he has also stated that “most people don’t want to create lists of things.” [UPDATE: this is an interesting point in like of Google+ Circles]
So, in the end, we are left, in the majority of cases with this single, large Facebook social graph of all your friends.
If the user won’t define the implicit social networks who will? Enter Color.
Color is developing the first service that tries to dynamically create a transitory grouping of people. What is the killer use case and how to monetise it is, in my opinion, secondary at this stage. They are a day old! It’s like asking a child what they want to be when they grow up. It doesn’t make sense. Give them time. Think Twitter. Color has got the talent and has raised sufficient funds to figure it out. It will take a few months for things to start making sense.
For additional reading I recommend:
– In TechCrunch, MG Siegler suggests that Color might be “the next phase of the web, a location-based phase that creates implicit social graphs and blurs the line of online and offline.”
– Jason Calacanis explains how “truly game-changing (and personal) an implicit social network could be if it reached scale”
– John Battelle thinks that “the service’s approach to location (…) has the opportunity to be the first breakout application fueled by the concept of “augmented reality.”