THE BLOG

Circle: A Stripped Down Facebook With a Sexy Twist?

08/01/2014 14:47 GMT | Updated 07/02/2014 10:59 GMT

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If you're on Facebook by now you've almost certainly now lost count of the number of invites you've received from friends to join 'Circle' - well unless you've blocked it. Circle bills itself as 'The Local Network', and is available on iOS and Anrdoid. It's built by Palo Alto based company Hawthorne Labs and backed by tech stars Ashton Kutcher and Marc Andreessen.

So what is it? Essentially it's a stripped down version of Facebook, and is very much reliant on that pre-existing network of friends for it to work, that attempts to make geo-location (or gps stalking!) a little less creepy and a little more refined.

Circle uses a users location to allow you to view your friends who are closest to your current location and what it calls a 'proximity popularity algorithm' to help it to understand the content users are most interested in at a specific location and deliver the most relevant information. It also filters users posts into a range of categories including 'local news', 'nightlife' and 'sports' to allow users to tailor their experience to what they're after.

All this is wrapped up in a sleek and simple interface which stands out against the growing complexity of Facebook and Twitter that even has a 'dynamic average colour theme' (no, I didn't know that was a thing either) a feature which Circle claims will adjust the apps colour scheme based upon the user's current location.

The app already has 10 million members across over one thousand cities in the United States and now seems to be making noise in the UK. How it will fare in a market that is already congested and seemingly getting ever more diluted by closed messaging apps such as Snapchat is not clear.

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