This week has been a whirlwind of music, buzz and business in Austin for the SXSW Music Festival. People traveling from all over the country, the world even, in one Texan city. Musicians, managers, bloggers, lawyers, hipsters…all frenzied into venues spotted all about Austin, at least sharing one common bond. But this year, there was a ghost about town. While people crowded together, smart phones began talking to one another, making their humans meet before they’ve even spoken a word. The latest form of social discovery, an app called Highlight, is getting the technological buzz while it’s buzzing you a new connection.
So this is how it works: after uploading Highlight, it will prompt you to log in with your Facebook account. This allows the app to access any and all information you’d like to share. The settings are fairly easy to suit your wants and needs. Highlight users will be allowed to view your name, photos, any mutual friends you might have, where you live, your hometown, interests…the list goes on. If you want to keep it a little closer to home, the app allows you to choose to share with ‘friends of friends.’ If you want to be a social butterfly, you can set it so that anyone can view your profile. Or, say you are at an event where you’d like to remain anonymous…there’s also an option to ‘pause’ Highlight as long as you want.
What can this do for users? Well, for starters…it can be an easier way to break the ice when meeting people. Since the app will notify you if someone with any similar information or likes is in your vicinity, you can kind of get a briefing before striking up a conversation. If you aren’t really looking to meet new people, but are out and about and want to know if any friends of yours are near, it will notify you there as well. Another nifty plus to this social discoverer is that it gives you a heads up when someone you may have met is around, giving you a chance to remember the name to the face.
On a personal level, Highlight is a fun and useful addition to social media. But on a business level, this could very well prove to be an everyday tool. Recruiters for any industry just hit a little bit of a jackpot. Let’s use SXSW as an example. So you’ve got Indie Rocker dude from the best band at South By sitting at the bar, watching another band. In walks Joe So and So from Awesome Management company. He’s been looking to talk to this band before their show. Both guys have Highlight and have mutual industry friends…bingo, a notification buzzes on their phones and voila! Just think how convenient this could be for recruiters, job seekers, just about anyone looking to network can benefit from Highlight.