Tracks, the company that lets users create their own personal social networks around their experiences, has launched version 2.5 of its iOS app, it was announced Thursday, one that it hopes will help it become the "mobile first Pinterest."
Among the new features included the update are Smart Activity, which "displays Tracks intelligently by algorithmically analyzing your activity, connections, and location," as well as geo-aware tracks, which lets users see, and join, tracks that are being created nearby.
Users can also "reTrack" a photo or video, meaning they can take it from one track and then put it on another. Magic tracks have also been updated to allow users to pull photos from their camera roll then automatically organize them by geo and time.
The network has also added two new important social features: tagging and user profiles.
Tracks 2.5 now dedicates an entire screen to discovering content based on smart tags, and displays recommended tags, as well as geo-aware tracks, trending tracks and smart recommendations.
"This is a major update and is based on how users are engaging with the current app. We experimented with public tracks where we were pushing down content to our users. We immediately saw growth in engagement and the types of tracks people started to make were interest based so we decided to give them a simple powerful way to connect with others around shared interests," Tracks CEO Vic Singh said in an interview with VatorNews.
The idea behind the update
The idea behind these new version of Tracks is two-fold: One, it is meant to focus the social network more heavily around content discovery, "which ultimately drives content creation," Singh said.
And second, Tracks, whose mobile and web service lets users organize their memories by making micro-social networks around real world experiences, ultimately wants this update to make it into the mobile version of Pinterest, meaning one that is built around what people are interested in, and one that allows like-minded people to connect with each other.
"Tracks is building a mobile-first interest netwok. So unlike Pinterest, our content is user generated so you will see photos taken by the user in the real world - weekend getaway, fashion (what people are wearing now), food (what people are eaiting now)," said Singh.
"Pinterest is web first so the majority of photos pinned are from catalogs, product from other web sites rather than photos taken with the phone. Also, a track is collaborative so instead of following a pinboard, people add to the track together."
Pinterest is not the only up and coming social network that Tracks has in its sights, though. When it comes to photo sharing, Singh also sees Tracks as being competition with Instagram and Path.
The advantages that Tracks has over those networks, said Singh, is that Instagram only lets users add one photo at a time, but users can't "track" their whole experience. And Path only lets its users broadcast to a small group of friends.
"Our vision is to build a network of real-world social networks around interests and experiences. Each track is a unique social network," he said.
Founded in late 2010, and then launching in June 2011, New York City-based Tracks is available in over 100 countries worldwide.
The Tracks app has been installed over 1 million times, with users now making 1.5 Tracks per minute, uploading 1 photo every second, and forming a 124 connections every minute. The social network has doubled its user base in the first quarter of this year, Singh said.
The network now has 15 million social connections with 33.5% of daily active users using the app at least two times a day, and 50.2% using it at least two times a week.