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You asked for it – and today, we’re excited to announce the release of Katango’s Web app! It auto-magically sorts your friends and family into groups online – and empowers you to export them directly to Facebook!  Katango groups are great for private messaging and photo sharing.

The new app:

  • Allows everyone to access Katango, regardless of where you are located or what kind of computer or mobile device you have;
  • Auto-organizes your Facebook friends into Lists, eliminating the work of manually creating Lists (and the danger of accidentally sharing photos and updates with the wrong people); and
  • Gives you a bigger screen interface than the Katango iPhone app for viewing and editing groups of your contacts.
  •  It’s easy to merge groups, delete groups, and add or remove people to and from your groups – and the Katango Web app effortlessly syncs every change with your Facebook Lists.

To use the new Web app, go to www.katango.com and sign up – it’s free! Give the app permission to access your Facebook account, and it will automatically organize them using the Katango algorithm – within seconds you’ll have a set of friend groups that you can then manage and finesse to your liking:

katangowebapp

Click “Show Me” to see what your initial groupings look like:

Katangowebapp

From this screen, you can choose any list to rename and edit:

Katangowebapp

Now, go have fun with the new Katango Web app!  (And let us know what you think!)

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We’re excited and humbled at all the press coverage the launch of Katango has received. We think all the attention makes it clear that the power of Katango  – automatically sorting social circles – is sorely needed, and solves a real problem we all face every day.

Check it out!

Katango’s Technology Helps Sort Facebook Friends (Wall Street Journal)

Katango WSJ

Automating the Culling of Facebook Friends (New York Times)

Katango NYT

Kleiner-Backed Katango Organizes Your Facebook Friends Into Groups For You (TechCrunch)

Katango TechCrunch

App automatically sorts your Facebook friends (MSNBC)

Katango MSNBC

Katango Runs Circles Around Google (Business Insider)

Katango Business Insider

Additional coverage:

Katango Helps You Manage Your Facebook Friends (Forbes)

Katango iPhone app organizes Facebook friends like Google+ Circles (CBS News)

Katango joins social media fray (USA Today)

Backed by sFund, Katango aims to simplify Facebook (San Francisco Chronicle)

Private Messaging iPhone App Auto-Organizes Your Friends Into Groups (Mashable)

Katango Takes an Algorithmic Approach to the Google Circles Problem (All Things D)

Yoav and Yee, here – on this most auspicious of evenings, we are delighted to announce the release of our first app, Katango, in the iTunes app store!  If you’ve ever been horrified at an unintentional overshare (whether you committed or just witnessed it), or you’ve virtually stopped sharing almost anything because your social network is so big that most of the people in it aren’t people you want to see every pic or status update, Katango might be just what the doctor ordered.

What does it do?  Katango auto-magically sorts your friends and family into groups. Katango groups are great for private messaging and photo sharing. And, it’s free!

Here are a few more details:

FREE AND UNIVERSAL: Katango is free to install and use with any iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad anywhere around the world.

AUTOMATIC: Katango automatically and instantly does the work of creating groups so that you don’t have to sort through all your contacts, adding people one-by-one.

PRIVATE GROUPS: You can share updates and photos privately with your Katango groups without worrying about unintended people seeing your messages. Comments and replies are kept private within each group, too!

TEXT MESSAGES: Katango lets you easily send free, unlimited text messages and status updates to your Katango groups.  No texting charges for sending messages!

FACEBOOK, EMAIL, SMS – TOGETHER:
The friends in your Katango groups will receive messages instantly if they have the Katango app.  Group members who don’t have the Katango app installed yet will get your messages wherever they are via Facebook, email, or SMS.

PHOTO SHARING: Katango has unlimited photo-sharing built in so you can share photos with Katango groups.  Easily take photos from inside the app (including self-pics on devices with a forward-facing camera) or pick from your Photo Library.  All for free.


INSTALL: Try out Katango today, free in the iTunes app store!  Katango’s automatic social organization makes it easy to send private messages and photos to just certain friends.

And if you’re not quite sure when you’d ever need to do that, think about this, and this –  and especially this.

Enjoy the app, spread the word about Katango, and share your Katango experiences with us on Facebook, Twitter or via email, at blog at katangoapp.com.

Yoav Shoham is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Katango, and a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University.

Yee Lee is VP Product at Katango.  You can follow him on Twitter at @yeeguy.

by Mike Munie and Thuc Vu, Katango’s Co-Founders and Algo Gurus

Your social network contains a lot of information about you. Remember the old saying, “you are what you eat?”  In this century, you are defined – at least in part – by who you connect with online, and what you like, share, do and have in common with them. That’s the stuff our algorithm gets at.  One of several things it does is to use data from your connections to solve the very real problem of being able to share specific things only with the subgroups of people from your overall social networks who will care about them (or who you want to see them), with little or no effort on your part.

We want the algorithm to do the work for you.

At times, the algorithm surprises us with the socially meaningful connections it draws from a given set of data. For example, we’ve found that all sorts of location information – where you worked, where you went to school, where you live – can surface useful relationship links between you and your friends online that are relevant to creating subgroups for sharing specific information. We’ve also found that your number of friends and the types of interactions you have with those friends strongly correlates to your age.

Read the rest of this entry »

Our online lives are now immersed in a universe of friends, likes and shares, which makes it easy to lose sight of the true stuff of social media: relationships.

What we do at Katango is empower users to optimizing their social media relationships and interactions, so when we saw this infographic exploring how Facebook affects each of us and how we interact with and relate to each other and thought we’d share – enjoy!

Credit: Online Dating University

Jonathan Berger is one of the original team members of Katango. He likes to program when he’s not programming and on occasion will engage with strangers he meets on Twitter. His main goal is to avoid having a job title as long as possible.

On Facebook, I’m mostly a lurker.  I spend about an hour a week stalking my family and friends to monitor what they’re doing, and only a couple of minutes a week posting updates.

I’m much more active than that on Twitter, though, owing to a piece of advice I received a few years ago from Paul Buchheit, the FriendFeed founder who is now at  Y Combinator. He said it’s important to have an online presence – what he called an online heartbeat.  The thinking behind this was that someone out there, whether it’s a professional contact or a personal contact, might just be curious as to what you’re up to: whether it be what you’re working on or what you’re doing.

So, it’s become a habit for me now; at least every other day I try to just tweet out something about what I’m working on.

My twitter handle is my full name: @jonathanberger.  But I actually maintain two twitter accounts; that’s my public one, and I’ve got a couple of hundred followers there.  I happen to maintain a private, protected one I send different kinds of updates to – there are only about 15 people or so that follow me on that one.  I’m a big believer that some updates are meant to be public and some are meant to be private, so I go to the trouble of maintaining two different identities on Twitter.

I heard this theory once, that when we buy clothes at the mall, we’re not buying what we actually like as much as we’re buying what we want to be seen in.  Everyone has a persona they want to project. The same applies to my – our – public and private identities online.  It’s a little shallow, so I’m kind of embarrassed to say it, but I tweet things to my public account’s followers that fit how I want to be seen – mostly things in line with my professional life and my work.

But when I tweet to my personal account, I don’t worry about that at all.  I tweet exactly what I’m thinking, or what I’m doing.  “Had a great time with Z at Ike’s Place.”  Or, this ^^ picture, taken in a moment of silliness one of the 2 or 3 times I’ve been to a hookah bar in my entire life (a photo which a friend promptly posted to Facebook – and which I promptly requested they take down, btw).

I wouldn’t post these things on my public Twitter account, because it’s not relevant to that online heartbeat I want to make public to the world.  And it’s also misleading – I’m not a hookah addict!

Currently, there are only a few options for those who care about cultivating an online presence to and through their social networks – all of which are pretty bad. You can severely restrict the size of your network, or what you share with it.  You can overshare personal information with many people who don’t care about it.  Or you can do what I did and take on the work of setting up and maintaining multiple accounts – projecting multiple personalities – on the same networking platform, a condition I call Multiple Online Personality Disorder.

No one really wants to do the work of maintaining two separate identities.  At Katango, we think we might just have the cure to what ails you.