We obviously thought about social networks quite a lot when designing EchoEcho – it’s difficult not to when you have simple conversations that go something like this:
“So we’re building this new thing. It’s called EchoEcho and it allows you to share your location with your friends very easily.”
“Oh yeah. It’s a social network right ?”
Well…errm…no. Or rather yes and no.
We realise that a prolonged adjustment period of brinksmanship has been going on with social networks – and I’m sure many people are sick of having to create profiles and friend lists every time they join LinkedIn, ASW, Facebook, Bebo, Myspace (delete as applicable).
So we decided not to create a new social network but to leverage an existing one which every mobile phone user already has.
The people in the address book on your phone.
Think about that for a minute – it might seem a little obvious (and perhaps more than a little odd that no one else has tried to do this) but the data is all there and the relationships are all there – if your number is in my phone you are likely in my friend list on social networks (assuming you are actually a member of said social network)
Sending echos to people in your address book (which in EchoEcho parlance means asking them the question “Where are you?”) and receiving an answer then becomes easier than sending and receiving and SMS.
Here’s an exclusive sneak preview of the notification message on Windows Mobile – each platform is a little bit different but this will give you something to chew on.
More on this over the next two weeks as we fasttrack towards a launch.