Facebook users find common ground with new iPhone app

By combining Facebook and location-based data, the iPhone app Highlight aims to connect individuals who have things in common.

What: By combining Facebook and location-based data, the iPhone app Highlight aims to connect individuals who have things in common.

"The way we find people and learn about others is and always has been completely random and inefficient," says Paul Davison, cofounder and CEO of Highlight. With the app, he seeks to facilitate the way those connections are made.

The app is available on iOS throughout the US.

How: After consumers install Highlight, add some of their personal details, and sign in on Facebook, the app runs silently in the background and sends notifications to users when they are in close proximity (typically within one to two blocks) to a friend or friend of a friend. It also sends that individual's Highlight profile.

Profiles typically contain information including name, photo, workplace, common friends and interests, as well as a history of all the times the two users have crossed paths in the past. The app can be restricted to friends of friends only or all users.

Why: Highlight combines metadata and information about individuals to facilitate interesting connections.

"Our objective with the app is to give people a sixth sense to the world around them," he explains.

Who: Highlight can be helpful in both social and work settings, as well as at networking events and conferences.

"It's a good way of quickly establishing trust," Davison notes. "It also provides you an icebreaker and gives you something to talk about."

Within the PR industry, Highlight allows users at an event to "quickly have a good understanding of who's there, what people are working on, who is working in the industries that interest you the most - and then be able to connect with these people," he adds.

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