Can you believe it’s been less than 10 months since social-local-mobile app Highlight first launched? We’ve watched it go from an overhyped launch to an overhyped SXSW update to a post-SXSW jumped-the-shark kinda backlash to now almost getting back to under-the-radar sexy again. In other words, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride — and, well, it keeps going.
Highlight has come out with another update today, bringing new ways to embellish your profile page, new ways to communicate with others, and new ways to consume content on the app. Highlight is also finally launching a serendipity-inducing version of its app for Android users.
Much of what’s new in the app has to do with the user profile, which has a ton of new features for letting other users know what you’re all about. In addition to including your employer and the neighborhood you live in in your profile header, Highlight now gives its users the ability to share their hometowns, schools, and relationship statuses.
It’s also added the ability to share random facts about yourself with people nearby. These could be facts submitted by yourself or by other friends on Highlight. Users can also highlight their favorite things within the app, as a way to show strangers what they’re interested in. Finally, there’s a section called “Let me know if” so that they can share requests with those nearby — like if they’re looking for a developer, or someone to watch the football game, or eat Thanksgiving dinner with.
According to founder Paul Davison, all the new content types in the profile were designed to give users more context around each other. Previously, users could only see a person’s employer and neighborhood and recent posts, but this will allow them to dig deeper. To enable them to do so, Highlight has also introduced horizontal scrolling, so that users can swipe back and forth to find new content.
Another new feature in the latest version of the app is the ability to “high five” someone you see nearby. The Highlight team wanted to find a way for users to acknowledge one another that seemed non-creepy. That meant no pokes, waves, winks, punching in the face, or smacking your ass. So they settled on high-fiving instead. Oh, and just for fun — when you get “high fived” by someone, there’s this awesome slap sound the app makes to notify you. (There’s also a feature to allow you to do different types of high fives, depending on whomever you’re high-fiving with. It’s all very complicated.)
Along with the addition of high fives and new user page content, Highlight needed a more streamlined way to communicate between users. There’s now the ability to message friends, high-five, and wish people a happy birthday all with one click. Highlight has also opened up its map to allow you to see all users nearby, in addition to the ones that it notifies you about.
Speaking of which — nearly every user I’ve ever talked to about Highlight complains about the app’s notification system, which can be a little… overzealous, let’s say. Well, Highlight hears you and has revamped the app to send you fewer notifications (*whew*), but hopefully more relevant ones. It’s also changed its notification sounds, so you’re no longer tricked into thinking you got a text message.
Highlight is a mobile ambient awareness app. When you come within a few blocks of another Highlight user who is your Facebook friend or that you have friends or interests in common with, Highlight sends you a push notification and lets you message them. The app’s homescreen displays a reverse chronological list of all the people you’ve crossed paths with.