Hot Potato, a startup focusing on an iPhone app that streams updates from friends at events in your area, launched
on Friday, just one month after the completion of its Series A round of funding. The Brooklyn-based early-stage startup has raised $1 million so far for its mobile brand of social networking via events.
Backed by Vimeo co-founder Zach Klein, Hot Potato's iPhone app will be one which facilitates a conversation that revolve around events: who's going where, who's enjoying what, what's happening
(as Twitter puts it). Any sort of gathering of people--tech conferences, meteor shower viewings, listening parties--classify as an event, and Hot Potato wants to be the user's number one choice for finding out about them.
Events can be created by any user and other users can choose to announce that they are "attending," "following," or "watching" said event.
While sharing amongst friends will certainly prove to be one of the app's central features, Hot Potato likewise utilizes the iPhone's GPS to alert the user about events being discussed in the immediate area. If an event sparks your fancy, you can look it up, read other users' notes about it, and look at the photos streaming in from the event. Finally, if you decide to actually go to the event, you can check in on the app, like one does in Foursquare.
Right now, the market is flooded with apps that want to be your event-finder via social stream. In the end, the winner will likely be the app that can attract the most of a user's friends. The huge pull of Facebook, at this point, is that everybody uses it. Switching to new social networks proves difficult solely because the experience will seem lacking, since only a fraction of one's friends will also be trying it out.