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Highlight people discovery app adds Photos and Events to its 1.5 update

Nicole Lee, @nicole
February 20, 2013
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Highlight, a location-based people discovery app that made a splash at last year's SxSW Interactive in Austin, TX, just released a big 1.5 update that adds photo-sharing and event-creation to its set of features. Sharing snapshots has a whiff of the Color app to it: whenever you take a picture of something, that photo will automatically appear on your friends' Highlight stream as long as they're in the vicinity. You can add captions, tag it with a name of the place, your friends' names, and share them to Facebook or Twitter. The pics will automatically be geotagged of course, but if you don't like sharing that info, you can remove the lat-long information afterward. However, it appears that untagging is not yet available, which is why the tagging is limited to just friends for now.

Creating events, on the other hand, is entirely different from what you might imagine. As opposed to planned invitations that you would create on eVite or Facebook, Highlight's Events are entirely spontaneous. You can only create an event "here and now" and the only people who are invited are those nearby (within a 250 meter radius or so). There isn't even a dedicated events tab; instead, you create or attend an event by tapping the map marker in the new post window. After you're done partying it up, the event will automatically end when people leave and stop posting due to the location and context-aware nature of the app.

At the announcement in San Francisco, CEO Paul Davison said that both photos and event features intend to create a "new way to hangout." "They're not for thousands of friends," he said, "They're for the people around you in the room." Yet, all the photos and event information will be available publicly, so he emphasized the entirely opt-in nature of Highlight: "You're in the service because you want it." As the next SxSW Interactive is only weeks away, the company is keen to see how users will take to the new features in a high-density environment like the popular Austin conference. To give it a go yourself, you can download both iOS and Android versions right now from the App Store and Google Play.

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