Of all the things written about the heavily funded Color, there is no denying that it’s confusing to a lot of people, at least at first. Updates have helped this a bit, but the app relies so much on technology in the background, that it almost seems as if you’re doing something wrong when you’re using it. Tracks, a new app launching today at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York, offers similar photo clusters done on the fly. But it’s much, much easier to understand.
The examples the team gives for uses range from a pub crawl with friends to a family vacation. You and the people with you (who have to be explicitly invited into a group, rather than Color’s automatic method) create picture albums on the fly. These are called Tracks. And these tracks are then viewable both in the app and on the web in a beautiful, optimized experience.
To me, the latter is something that has always interested me about Color. The idea that you can share the pictures you and your friends take clustered together onto the web. But Color does not have a good mechanism for finding those pictures unless you explicitly share them and then remember that link. Tracks makes this concept much more digestible.
Also cool is the map view, which shows the path of your Track. (Not to be confused with your Path, the other photo-sharing app.)
And Tracks smartly angle themselves towards another trend in mobile photos: physical photo books. Companies like Postagram and Keepsy have been working on this, but they leverage other sites’ photos. Tracks is an all-in-one solution.
Here’s their presentation
Judge Q&A with Jeff Clavier, Shana Fisher, Roger Ehrenberg, Saul Hansel
JC: Do you have to use your app or Instagram?
A: Great question. We pull from photo libraries, so many of your Instagram photos are there.
JC: Other services?
A: Yeah, photos are just the beginning.
RE: What gives you the confidence that using Facebook won’t kill this?
A: Tracks is like a living ongoing experience. That’s part 1. The other part is the other members — not everyone wants this on Facebook. Right now this is just a private experience.
SH: Why no text? No captions?
A: That will come. We wanted to get something super simple out there.
SF: Do you have a login?
SF: I think you should test the Facebook login.
A: We tested it, but people didn’t want it.
A: Also on the roadmap.
RE: Revenue model?
A: We have a few ideas. We think brands could be big. But the initial focus is on engagement.
JC: Initial engagement will be tricky. You should learn what the others have done.
A: I completely agree. But Facebook and Twitter are lower than a personal invitation.