The increasingly public nature of Facebook and the accompanying privacy scares have paved the way for social sites with an element of exclusivity. Facebook may want to connect the world, but these platforms want to connect your inner circle—and keep the rest of the world out.
One of these new sites is Capsule. Capsule is an event planning and sharing site, and it’s equal parts organizational and social. Users create “capsules,” which are basically events that have Web and mobile-based tools for everything from planning logistics and real-time image sharing to group chat and private photo albums. After an event, these capsules contain everything that happened–whether that was a virtual business meeting or a weekend trip with friends.
We had the opportunity to go hands-on with Capsule in a demo with founders Cyrus Farudi and Omri Cohen. They explained that while Capsule “plays nicely with Facebook,” you can use the site without a Facebook account. “It’s completely private,” they emphasized. “Sharing within a capsule is limited to everyone within the capsule.” It’s yet another option for privacy-mongers who have become wary of Facebook, or steer clear altogether.
They also explain that Capsule is utilizing the experience graph, versus the social graph—it’s more action-oriented.
In our particular hands-on, we used Capsule for a virtual meeting. After setting up the app and connecting via the Web, you’re able to auto-send photos from your phone. The mobile interface is simply your camera, with options to pull from your image gallery or switch to a different or new capsule. Whatever you enter here is immediately sent to your Web capsule conversation, and from there you have a few options.
You can post text in the stream, and pin any content you want. This sends the important info to the left-hand side in a virtual post-it. You can also comment on photos and posts.
Users are also able to interact with an individual capsule via text. Each capsule gets a dedicated number, so you can add your two cents that way.
While our particular demo erred toward the business side, Farudi and Cohen stress its personal uses. “It works really, really well for parties and weekend trips,” they say. The idea was inspired when both were invited to more weddings and bachelor parties than they could keep up with. Capsule was a way to deal, sort, and share the content created during those occasions.
Capsule is easy on the eyes, and the concept is nicely laid out via the design. It looks more like an organization solution than social outlet, but users looking for some structure in their photo-event sharing applications will appreciate this. And its integration with Facebook undoubtedly gives it legs to stand on—leveraging the ability to segment your private events and photos more easily than Facebook currently does could be helpful for the site.
Capsule is available today for iPhone Android, with the accompanying Web app launching as well.
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