Katango Runs Circles Around Google

by francine Hardaway on July 12, 2011

I have just had a mind-blowing experience: I downloaded Katango.


Robert Scoble, my fearless leader, had mentioned something about it offhandedly last week, maybe on The Gillmor Gang. His was an essentially content-free comment, something on the order of “wait until you see Katango.” I must have filed it somewhere, because when the press release hit my mailbox this morning I recognized the name.


I routinely ignore all press releases, because I wrote them for twenty years and I know they are camel dung created by a committee.


But I downloaded the iPhone app to my iPad. And that’s how I got blown away. Katango connects to my Facebook account, thinks for a while, and returns me my friends, in groups. Here is what Katango brought me, without labels: all the people from GeeksonaPlane in a group; all yoga fiends and teachers in another group ; all Gillmor Gang participants and groupies; all the people from Esplanade Place where I lived in 2004. And while Katango was thinking, it informed me that I have many friends online. I would be curious to know it it says that to everyone:-) Or what it says to people like Scoble or Chris Pirillo.


All right. Now that the important parts, impression and usability, are out of the way, here are the bare facts from the press release:

Katango, the first investment of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers sFund, today introduced a social-sharing and algorithm-focused application for iPhone, which will provide “Personal Crowd Control“ www.katango.com.  Katango is the brain child of a group of Stanford PhDs with deep roots in artifcial intelligence.  They’ve applied their theoretical learning to create a complex algorithmic solution to a very real problem: organizing and sorting through the tsunami of contacts and content generated by social networks.


The app, also named Katango, aggregates information from users’ social networks (starting with Facebook) and instantly organizes friends into groups based on interests, proximity and interconnectedness. Users may have groups such as family, close friends, sports teams, high school friends, work connections, etc.  The app then gives users a way to share photos, messages, and comments with the exact groups of people they want to share it with. For example, when using the Katango app, users can quickly let their friends in New York know they’re coming for a visit, or share some party pictures with college friends (but not their families or coworkers).The best part? It’s all automated – no more manual sorting.


When Kleiner announced its e-Fund we all thought they were late to the game. Apparently not. This app could be a real winner for people who aren’t ready to make their own Circles, because it looks like Katango makes them for us.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: