The initial startup financed by a fund intended for social-networking firms released an app that provides Facebook users more specific control over the content they allocate even with people who are not on Facebook.
The first product is a free iPhone app planned to give “personal crowd control” for a Facebook user’s network, according to Katango Inc.
Under its original name, CafeBots Inc., the Palo Alto Co. got $2 million from the “sFund,” a $250 million fund launched in October to much fanfare at a press meeting at Facebook Inc.
The support is guided by powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and backed by a partnership with Facebook, Amazon com. Comcast, Zynga Inc., communications giant Liberty Media Corporation and investment bank Allen & Co. LLC.
Katango expects to simplify social networking only as Google shortened Web search, according to co-founder Yoav Shoham during a current interview.
The algorithms designed by Stanford University artificial intelligence experts was used by the app to involuntarily organize a Facebook user’s list of friends into groups based on particular interest, site or relationships, like family, best friends, high school friends, colleagues or sports teammates.
Rather than sharing content with the broader range of friends, the app allows users share just in a particular group. For instance, a photo taken throughout a postgame drinking gathering can be observed by teammates however not family.
Shoham said Katango users could put contact data for people who do not use Facebook, so family vacation photos will come as a wall post for those on Facebook and in an e-mail or text message for those who are not.
Remarks and answers as well are posted for particular group members to sight on their Facebook wall or through e-mail.
Yee Lee, Katango Vice President, said the startup hopes to catch the attention of users who say they “love Facebook, but don’t want to share everything with everybody all the time.”
According to the company, they are working to developing the app to other social network and mobile platforms.