One of today's hot topics at SXSW is "ambient social networking". And the charge in that area is led by the new location-based social app Highlig.ht. Here is what Highlight tells us about their product:
Highlight is a fun, simple way to learn more about the people around you.
If someone standing near you also has Highlight, their profile will show up on your phone. You can see their name, photos of them, mutual friends, and anything else they have chosen to share. When you meet someone, Highlight helps you see what you have in common with them. And when you forget their name at a party a week later, Highlight can help you remember it.
As you go about your day, Highlight runs quietly in the background, surfacing information about the people around you. If your friends are nearby, it will notify you. If someone interesting crosses your path, it will tell you more about them.
Highlight gives you a sixth sense about the world around you, showing you hidden connections and making your day more fun.
The point of highlight is to connect people, not just by location, but by interests. Highlight connects with your Facebook account. There is currently no other option to sign in to Highlight but via Facebook. The developers say this is necessary for three reasons (quote from the app itself):
1) It makes it super fast to sign up and create a Highlight profile.
2) It allows you to see what friends you have in common with other Highlight users.
3) It helps ensure that people are using their real identities.
Allow me to insert an opinion here. If your product has no other way to login but via Facebook, you need to call your product what it is: a Facebook app. I do not allow access to my Facebook wall, info or posts. That is mine. If I have to allow you to do what you like in my Facebook account in order to use your product, forget it. I managed to get a Pinterest invite in the days when you could just use a login name. Otherwise, no Pinterest for me. Call me a Luddite. I am not a sharer, I am not a consumer. Until Highlig.ht goes to open login with much more control over who I am interacting with, they can keep it. I deleted the app.
Here is what others are saying about Highlight.
http://t.co/STDiRNV6 because stalking people on Facebook is just not cutting it anymore.
http://t.co/6iX2LoX3 but every tweet I see about it are complaints that it bombards you with notifications. I'll, um, wait.I'd like to try
@Highlight will absolutely explode at SxSW b/c it's an ego boost & dopamine rush to get a push notification—it's chemical people!.