Today, Chirp is launching in public beta. Chirp is a screen saver, previously covered here, that lets you bring social feeds from Flickr and Facebook onto your desktop. Other social Websites will be added in the future. “Our purpose is to enable you to stay up to date with your friends without the hassle of logging into multiple websites,” says CEO Eve Phillips.
Chirp will let you subscribe to a friend’s photo feed so that it can decorate your screen. Click on a photo and Chirp will take you to the corresponding Flickr page to find out more. This reminds me of the Slide Desktop application, except that it brings in photos and data from other Websites. It basically brings social widgets outside the browser, something we’ve also seen with desktop applications from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. The Sidebar in Windows Vista, for instance, lets you bring all sorts of widgets to the desktop, including online photos albums.
Maybe I’m missing something, though, because there is some smart money in the seed round. Greylock Partners, Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech VC and angel investors Reid Hoffman (Chairman and founder of LinkedIn), Jay Adelson (CEO of Digg), and Dave Samuel (founder of Spinner.com and Grouper). CTO David Bill is formerly of Spinner. I guess Chirp’s focus on turning social feeds into a screen saver might give it more mass appeal than just a bunch of desktop widgets.
Phillips explains the difference between Chirpscreen and widgets in the following way:
We’re designed to take over your screen and turn your
computer into a display of the social content of your choosing,
automatically updated with content from your friends – your friend channel.
Taking a step back, if you separate out what we do into three areas:
content aggregation; filtering; and display, most of those desktop
widgets aggregate and then do a limited display. We’re focused on
having highly relevant filtering and a really engaging, interactive
display of that content, as opposed to a desktop widget which is
designed to be a companion to your desktop activities (browsing,
What do readers think? Try the beta and tell me in comments.