With Sequoia’s Doug Leone talking up Color Labs’ next pivot at TechCrunch Disrupt, and in-the-wild signs of a Color Labs Facebook app called Blue already beginning to appear, it seems like many are rapt in anticipation of what the future holds for the storied photo-sharing app.
Well, according to one Harvard student tipster, the company has been gearing up for a product launch at f8 by exclusively targeting Harvard students, with Color Product Manager Andre Charoo sending out the following email draft to a number of computer science-related student groups at the elite university — meant for distribution when the new app goes live on Thursday.
Subject: New Harvard exclusive app launched w/ Zuckerberg
In case Harvard isn’t exclusive enough for us, a new app launched with Facebook today is available exclusively for only Harvard students to download until Friday at midnight.
The app lets Facebook friends see what you see live through your phone.
Follow this link from your phone’s browser (for iPhone and Android) — [INSERT LINK].
It’s unclear from the email whether whatever that [INSERT LINK] link point to will be a new version of Color’s current app or a new app entirely built by Color Labs (judging by what we’ve being seeing regarding Blue, I would guess the latter). It is also unclear how exactly the app will limit its usership to Harvard students until Friday.
A description of the app also making the rounds on Harvard email lists is equally vague:
“As a brief description of the new app — Color lets friends see what you see live through your phone. The Color app lets you post to Facebook, and allow friends to virtually visit you on Facebook or with the app on their phone (available on iPhone and Android). When friends request a visit, you can host them through a live broadcast from your phone. “
I, for one, am finding it hard to conceive of what a “virtual visit” just might be, but if our tipster is correct, it would seem like Color is taking its cues from Mark Zuckerberg’s original Facebook launch strategy — trying to revive its flagging product by using Harvard as a marketing Petri dish.
Guess we’ll find out more tomorrow.
Update: I’ve confirmed with a second source that this is indeed Color’s marketing strategy for Blue.