How Do You Like Highlight?

When Highlight launched in the App Store three months ago, there was speculation about the sixth sense it aimed to provide its users. Highlight uses…

When Highlight launched in the App Store three months ago, there was speculation about the sixth sense it aimed to provide its users. Highlight uses your location at all times to alert you about people around you. It shows you their basic profile along with other details they’ve decided to make available to the public.

The initial reaction to Highlight was either one of two extremes. The first one was that Highlight is bound to destroy user privacy — an app a boon for stalkers. The second view was one of excited tech adopters who said that this is the next step for social media.

The past three months have seen tech reporters reporting both sides of the story. We are going to go one step closer and tell you about two students who hold opposite views about Highlight. The first user is a student at New York University, majoring in economics and photography. The second user is a student at the New School majoring in design marketing. Both students consider themselves tech enthusiasts and downloaded Highlight over two months ago.

The Proponent: Vishrut Kanoria

The first student, Vishrut Kanoria, loves Highlight. On his profile he has a few pictures (most of which are from his Instagram album), a detailed list on interests, and his favourite places. Kanoria, 20, enjoys Highlight because it helps him spread word about his TEDX initiative at NYU. He says that he has been asked about upcoming events and speakers by other Highlight users who can view his profile when they are in the same vicinity. This is especially helpful because people with similar interests often live close to each other, like the East Village for aspiring artists and Silicon Valley for tech enthusiasts. He enjoys asking for restaurant suggestions if someone nearby is a food enthusiast. Kanoria believes that the strength of Highlight is in the fact that you can message the user whose profile you are viewing. This makes profile viewing less creepy and closer to achieving the aim of learning about people who surround you. Kanoria’s only complaint with Highlight is that since the app tracks your location all day, it makes his battery drain at a much faster rate.

The Opponent: Jill Kamperman

Jill Kamperman doesn’t view Highlight in the same regard. She has a few pictures on her profile with her friends and at her favourite bars in New York. Her interests are mainly design related but she’s also interested in creative businesses. According to Kamperman, Highlight is great when someone you would like to know messages you, but that doesn’t happen often. She thinks that messaging someone you don’t know at all is weird enough, but when you receive messages all the time it’s difficult to get around to replying and maintaining a conversation. One of Kamperman’s complaints is that there aren’t enough people interested in design using the app yet; it seems to be overcrowded by tech people trying to meet people with similar interests. When she messaged a graphic designer in the same store as her once, the woman wasn’t open to talking to a stranger and didn’t answer any of her questions. On the other hand, Kamperman loves knowing if any of her friends are close, so she can meet up with them. She said this helps her when she is at her college campus.

Which side are you on? Let us know.

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