There are about a million Tweets a day with the word “I Want,” and now there is a mobile photo sharing app that can capture all those things people want and share them with the world. The iPhone app is called Want!, the site is Want.it, and the concept is simple: you take a picture of things you want, give it a description, and share it with friends.
The app can broadcast your wants to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr. It pulls in locations from Facebook and tags from your description. “We want it to be a tool for quickly window shopping the world,” says co_founder and CEO Gene DeRose, who gives me a demo in the video above. You can take pictures of anything you desire: a beautiful watch, a shirt your friend is wearing, a plate of ribs, a nap, a day at the beach. It’s a mobile “like” button. “Like is kind of meh,” says DeRose, “it is kind of meta and that is great. But want is more actionable. It has a possible end in commerce.”
The app lets you follow other people and their wants, and organizes wants by tags such as music, book, car, wine, design, cool, beer, and so on. The app shows the most popular wants as well as a feed of the wants of the people you are following. In addition to people, you can also follow tags, venues, and neighborhoods. Want pulls in location data from Foursquare. Since everything is geo-tagged, you can also see wants nearby. Or if you are at a certain store or restaurant, you can see the most wanted items. Every user generates their own personal catalog of things that they want, and the app can generate most wanted lists across different vectors: location, person, tag.
DeRose was CEO of research firm Jupiter Communications between 1995 and 2002, where a young Dennis Crowley once worked for him. DeRose then went on to found House Party, which helps brands sponsor social gatherings. His co-founder Michael Satow founded MarketXT, which was the first after-hours stock market for retail investors in the 1990s. He was also the CEO of JDS Pharmaceuticals and Mirror Worlds (which is in a $625 million patent dispute with Apple). DeRose and Satow co-founded Skymarker, the New York-based parent company of Want.it, with $300,000 out of their on pockets.