Color aims to change the idea of the social network

Startup mobile application developer Color Labs launched a new social networking app Wednesday night, while simultaneously announcing that it had secured a staggering $41 million in funding for its project. Called Color, the application shares your photos and videos with those within 150 feet of you.

It's not like other social networking services, where you find and connect to friends on your own. Instead, by using the integrated GPS within smart phones, Color decides what pictures and videos you see based on two variables: your location and how often another Color user is near you.

There are no "privacy" settings per se. Whatever you post to the service is viewable by anyone else, as long as they meet the above conditions. The company calls this your "elastic network." This network is elastic though because it can change: say for example you don't see someone for quite awhile. Their picture's colors will slowly fade away and disappear.

Color Labs hopes to make its application different from other social networking services in that its basis is who is around you. When we use Facebook or Twitter, less emphasis is placed on interaction. With Color, it's different -- you need to be near to the person in order for it to work.

While iOS' version allows for just sharing of media, the Android version apparently goes a step further and allows for text messaging between contacts on Color.

An iPhone version is now available in the App Store, while the Android version is available from the Android Market and other sources.

Venture capitalists have flocked to the company. Its biggest supporter is Sequoia Capital -- to the tune of $25 million -- who told the company according to Dow Jones Newswires "not since Google have we seen this."

Sequoia was one of the first to believe in Google's ideas -- but they only gave the Mountain View, Calif. company $12.5 million initially to fund their effort. Does the venture capital firm really believe that this could be even bigger than Google?

"Color aims to lead us all into the post-PC world," Sequoia Partner Doug Leone told Dow Jones. "Sharing by sitting alone in front of a PC browser will cease to exist. Color will usher in a world where people use everyday mobile technology that allows simultaneous connecting and sharing."

Other supporters included Bain Capital and Silicon Valley Bank, which pledged both capital and loans to Color Labs. CEO Bill Nguyen said that the funding would help to accelerate development and "dramatically" changed his vision on where Color may go.

Either way, the company is preparing itself, currently building out infrastructure to support "hundreds of millions" of users. What remains to be seen is if they will come.

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