When Color was first introduced last spring, it was with ample fanfare and altogether too much hype. We watched the app flounder, witnessed closeted attempts at a rebuild, and mostly forgot about it. Now, Color is back and it’s trying to repackage the remains of its project.
Cnet has gotten an early glimpse at the new app, which has scaled back its original purpose to attack the status update instead of the social network as a whole. Color wants to introduce the idea of short, visual snippets into the Facebook News Feed. The updated app will be rolled out to iPhone and Android soon, and Color will now be an app layered on top of Facebook. And much of it will feel the same: it will remain a photo-focused platform.
The main feature the app will push is the Visit. This is a video capture tool that creates a 30-second, muted clip you post to Facebook. Once this happens, your Facebook friends who have Color are notified. You’ll also be able to see who watched your video (as long as they also have the Color app).
As you can see from the video explanation, Color has seriously pulled back from its location-heavy, elastic network. In comparison, this new effort is barely worth mentioning. Not that the idea of video status messages isn’t interesting—it’s still a somewhat untapped market. Photo has taken over, but video still hasn’t quite caught on, and maybe Color will be part of that. But tacking on an intra-network of sorts just seems unnecessary. It’s like the team is trying to salvage something that just isn’t there.
And that’s probably because Color hasn’t only scaled down its original app, but even its second go at geo-video broadcasting. This new app was supposed to be a live feed video that was constantly streaming activity—and it was supposed to have sound. But the technological and privacy complications that come with that proved too great, and thus we have a 30-second, soundless video app that sends this content to your Facebook News Feed.
Early reports say that the video quality leaves something to be desired, although we’re sure this is a bug Color will work out before the official launch.
Of course, it’s easy to be overly critical of Color because of how it all started. It was supposed to be revolutionary and send us into a new type of social network. And it didn’t. And now, everything that the team is able to concretely turn into a usable product just sort of pales in comparison.
That’s why it’s too early to say if the new Color won’t be fun and accessible, and a nice complementary feature for Facebook. Just make sure your expectations aren’t too high.
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