Circle’s CEO Evan originally wrote, er, a mail that was automatically sent after I downloaded the App contained the following text:
I am a Co-Founder and CEO of Circle and I noticed that you downloaded our app today.
I wanted to reach out and thank you for trying it and see how your initial experience was. We made Circle to help people know when their friends and networks are nearby and we hope that you find it useful!
We are just getting started (you’re one of the first to check it out!) and I’d greatly appreciate any ideas on how we can improve or any problems that you run into and we will fix them fast! Below is my personal email and cell phone. Feel free to reach out 24/7 with any ideas or just to say hi. Thanks again and I hope to chat sometime in Circle - I am always at the end of your “Networks” in the app.
It’s very kind of you to reach out to me. I want to let you know that I removed Circle from my device and deleted it in Facebook after playing with it for a few minutes.
But I want to start of with something positive. Your app looks very, very nice. I also looked at Highlight and think it really doesn’t look that great.
Now, why did I remove ‘Circle’? I just don’t see how it holds any value for me. And I don’t like things that are too tightly integrated with Facebook. Spotify for example is really, really great, but the fact that they now require a Facebook account creeps me out.
Back to your App: Why Facebook? There’s a ton of people there, I get it. But Facebook did, in fact, get out of the location game a while ago and stopped innovating there, so the guys at Foursquare do their thing, and they do good. I like and use that service a lot. I can share the venue I’m at with my friends, and they see it and act accordingly. That’s much more useful than the sole location or distance you relate to. I don’t understand why you don’t use the Foursquare api or connect your service to Foursquare in some other way. Instead, there’s the connection to Facebook I already mentioned that doesn’t make any sense to me. Yes, there are people, but they need to install your app nonetheless, don’t they? And why don’t you offer a twitter-, a google- and an openID-signup/login if you want to make the signup process a breeze?
No offense, but I don’t believe that you just did it to make the signup process slick and simple. Everything I saw makes me think that you want access to people’s profile info, for whatever reason. Well, the Path guys have their customers’ (you might say: their products’) address books, why shouldn’t you get their workplace info, highschool year and so on?
If that’s not true, and I’m almost sure it isn’t, it’s still bad design (again, no offense, just my opinion). The whole location-thingy makes sense on a per-venue-basis.
I hoped that your app offers kind of a better Foursquare radar (maybe including people I follow who attach their location to tweets or people who check-in using Facebook), but sadly it’s far from it, especially because I need to invite all my real friends to use Circle nonetheless, despite the tight integration with Facebook.