Mobile photo sharing app Color recently raised $41 million in funding from marquee investors, Sequoia and Bain.
Many people were sceptical, but in this
interview, Color Founder Bill Nguyen
explains that Color is much more than photo sharing, and
is actually a data mining company focusing on spontaneous social networks.
Bill Nguyen: Photo sharing is not our mission. We think it's cool and we think it's fun, but we're a data mining company. We are really much more about bringing these spontaneous instant social networks. We happened to begin by launching an application that captures photos and video and text.
The technology is pretty amazing. Color will be able to detect when a bunch of people are pointing their camera at the same thing -- say during a baseball game -- and automatically figure out what everybody's trying to capture. Then it will select the best picture and put it to the top of the photo feeds of people most interested in that image (like fans at the ballpark)
People are downloading it like crazy. In less than 24 hours, it's already the number-two social networking app on iTunes, after Facebook. Nguyen says he's received emails from Japan about people using it to share photos of devastated areas with nearby rescue workers.
D.J. Patil, formerly Chief Scientist of LinkedIn, has joined Color.
Previously, Bill Nguyen co-founded Lala, which allowed users to share playlists with friends and purchase mp3s.