See what your friends are up to w/ automatic status updates

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I miss the old status message from the days of AIM, ICQ, IRC, etc. There's something nice about its simplicity in which each update is impermanent (unlike Twitter, FB, etc. which become neverending streams of activity) and representative of one's current state (sometimes I wish I could put up an "afk" status on Twitter so people don't assume I'm ignoring them). I've been playing with Status for a few weeks and while very early, I like the direction. I can quickly see which of my friends are at home, left work, out of town, in a meeting, etc. @kul - curious to hear more about where this idea came from, especially considering how many players that have attempted something similar in this space (Swarm and Facebook's Friends Nearby are the most prominent examples that come to mind).
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@rrhoover thanks Ryan! In a nutshell, it's exactly what you hone in on above - I wanted a way to let people know I was busy and not ignoring them. The genesis of the idea was my phone dying at a tech event in SF, which led my girlfriend to believe I was ignoring her. I figured there must be a way she could know that my phone had died. Then, in quick succession, I received phone calls during meetings the next day and wished that folks could know why I was being unresponsive. Really, our smartphones already know a lot about our current state, it was more a matter of building a lightweight mechanism to share this with the right people. "Low battery" and "In a meeting" are currently two of my favorite statuses.
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@kul What about the scenario when you are ignoring her? =) @rrhoover just changed my AIM status "BBL" Ahh, just found "off the grid" icon. Very nice!
@mmezzacca BBL! (nostalgia) @kul - what are you thoughts on integrating other services (e.g. Fitbit, Foursquare, weather API's) to add more context to each status? Btw, you should keep an eye on @aprilzero's yet-to-be-released product, Gyroscope.
@mmezzacca @rrhoover there's probably a paid feature in there somewhere :)
@rrhoover @kul The old AOL status message was pulled by Buddy Gopher (see and when I wrote about wanting to build something on top of AIM along those lines Jim Bankoff (now of Vox), contacted me. A project codenamed Nerdvana came out of that with my buddy Greg Narain, but it was shut down later on when Falco joined AOL and Bankoff was pushed out. I think Status has a lot to offer, especially with all the info natively accessible on smartphones.
Hello Product Hunt! Status is a simple status app that delivers updates automatically from your phone. You choose who to share state with, and the app gives you an instant glance at who's free and busy. In our research, a very large proportion of messages sent are to do with co-ordination ("busy?", "coffee?", "how far are you?" etc). We figured this could become a lot more efficient if we leveraged the context our smartphones have about what we are currently doing. In theory, our phones could be answering those questions for us. Status is our version 1.0 attempt to make communication with our nearest and dearest more efficient, first simply by answering "who's free" automatically. I'm looking forward to engaging with the community, answering questions and getting feedback to make the app better! For those interested, I wrote about it in more detail on Medium here:
Hard sell for my crowd, they tend to shy away from apps that track location and activity. I think the concept is definitely cool but I tend toward the old school manual means of updating. This is a bit smarter than I was expecting. Also, the questionnaire is clever but I'd be reluctant to add names with the expectation that they'd get undesired invites.
@krysfree hey Krys, thanks for the feedback. I hear you, this won't appeal to everyone. Nonetheless, we've made a commitment to not store any location history after 24 hours, and we are moving the product away from location based statuses, of which "at work" is currently the main one. Sharing activity/location is opt-in right now. Also, good point on the quiz! It was an experiment to see if we could educate users about what the app is whilst adding friends. We're going to change that to just queue up the answers and give you the option to invite at the end of the flow. Cheers, Kulveer
@kul for sure! glad to hear about some of the ways you're already adapting to the market. Definitely think its a slick product. I look forward to seeing how things evolve for your ideal end users. Would love to circle back on this when the location piece recedes further :) haha. yea. the quiz was pretty nice (even though I clicked past it). It was VERY thoughtful. I wish more apps offered invites in a less "click through a huge list of people you want to invite" sort of way. You're definitely on to something that I hope others will learn from :)
@kul Very neat. Seems like you've unbundled a cool feature of Also, the last time @JanKoum wanted to set his status saying 'In A Gym' or 'Driving' ...Whatsapp happened in the process, the rest is history. Who knows where #status could go from here. Keep it simple, keep it classy.
@EmmanuelAmber @JanKoum thanks! yeah - I think there's something in this status thing.
Thanks for supporting Android users!
@virjog *fist bump*
Nice app there @kul! If I remember correctly, initially, WhatsApp too was a status broadcasting service, but a manual one. Automation here could be very useful, for say, turning on your heaters as soon as you reach home. Or, in future, creating coffee as soon as you reach office.
@shobhitic yeah, there's lots of potential here, and you're exactly right, this was Whatsapp's original idea. I joked with my cofounders when I found that out that we should immediately abandon Status and start making a chat app.
@tarikh @shobhitic it's funny, I worked in the twitter offices in 2007 and never made this connection til recently when I showed Ev the app and he laughed. It's a little different, but yep, Twitter was a status app! let's hope this can become a B company too.
@kul good luck mate look fwd to seeing the progress!
@tarikh @kul Apparently many big communication apps started as sharing statuses. If I remember correctly, I used GTalk back in the day to broadcast my status.