Color Me Skeptical


I Tweet and I FB and I Digg, and even Stumble on occasion, but will I Color?  It’s not likely; not because I think it’s creepy (I do) but because I live in an area where cell service is as close to non-existent as you can get without actually not existing.  There’s also the no crowd factor, which would make Color-ing fairly pointless.  Having said that, would I try it if I were in an area where all of the required elements came together?  Probably.  I’m as curious as the next person, not to mention that it would be fun to play around with the new social app.

Color is currently available for iPhones and Android devices, with unique location-based social networking features that take privacy (or the lack thereof) to new levels. The app uses what the company calls a ‘multi-lens’ to identify smartphones within a 50-yard radius and then automatically share photos you take with those phones in the area, whether you know the person or not.  Color does not come equipped with privacy settings; you can’t specify which friends or even which people in your immediate area will receive your photos. 

Color Labs, Inc. sees this lack of privacy settings as a plus, stating Color “opens the door to a broader community with neighbors, workmates, and new acquaintances… There are no profiles to create, no passwords to manage. Instead, an open, visual bulletin of real-time activity is displayed for all people using Color nearby. With Color, introductions are made and you are able see what the lives of others are like.”  That’s the creepy part. Even if I’m not taking photos, if someone else snaps a shot with me in it then it will be broadcast to everyone that is running the app in the area. Don’t tell work you’re sick and then go to a public event.  

I can definitely see benefits of the Color app.  If I’m at a concert, sitting in the balcony, I’m not going to get very good shots from my iPhone.  So sad, and wishing I had a better seat.  The good news is, when I take pictures anyway, regardless of my distance from the stage, pictures taken by someone (also running the Color app) sitting in a VIP seat in the front row will be instantly shared with my phone. 

On the other hand, I’m a private person.  I like, in fact demand, the ability to choose who I share my life with. If I’m in the park taking pictures of my kids or pets, I don’t necessarily want those photos broadcast to everyone in the area–especially not my kids; the dog…not so much so.

What Color says about Color

  • Free application for iPhones and Android devices
  • Allows people in close proximity to capture and have real-time access to photos, videos, and text simultaneously from multiple smartphones
  • Best way of sharing an experience without the hassle of passing cameras around, emailing or uploading images and videos online
  • Possible to instantly capture, experience and share life with those around you without rigid Web concepts like ‘friending’
  • No profiles to create, no passwords to manage
  • Every photo and video captured using Color is stored on the Web for immediate access via the application without requiring massive amounts of storage space on your phone

One last word. Before you start thinking ‘there are folks out there that will abuse this and post inappropriate content;’ Color is one step ahead of you.  Color has a strict public use policy stating ‘everything shared is appropriate for all ages. Only public images and videos should be captured…Any violation of decency can result in permanent suspension of service for a specific smartphone.’

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