Katango, the startup that aims to automatically create useful Facebook-based groups based on your interests and affiliations, just expanded its product lineup. Besides its current iOS app , the company now also offers a web-based version with an export and sync function that makes creating Facebook lists easier than ever before.
Katango automatically creates Google Circle-like lists of your Facebook friends based on your interests and affiliations. Until now, the only way to get access to the company’s smart algorithms was by using its iOS group messaging app, though. Today, less than a month after its launch, Katango is also introducing its web-based service, which uses the same smart algorithms, but also lets you automatically create and export Facebook lists.
“Like Google Circles for Facebook – But Automatic”
A company spokesperson described the new service to me as “kind of like Google Circles for Facebook – but automatic, not manual.” Creating Facebook lists has long been an arduous process and most Facebook users don’t really make use of it.
As I noted in my review of Katango’s iPhone app, a service like this only makes sense if the algorithms work very well. If it makes too many mistakes and creates meaningless groups, it could quickly become more of a hassle to use it than just manually organizing your groups. I got an early demo of Katango’s algorithms on the web from the team a while back and was impressed with how precisely it organized my friends into meaningful lists with only a few mistakes (how Jason Calacanis made it into my list of German-speaking friends is one of those questions only the algorithm itself can answer).
The iOS messaging app was obviously just a test for the company and a way to get its product out to more people to gather more data. The new web-based app will be the real test for Katango as a far wider range of users will now have access to the service and as its integration with Facebook Lists now becomes the central feature.
Who Will Buy Katango?
It’s obvious that the launch of Katango would have looked very different today if Google hadn’t launched Google+ with its manually created lists. I think Katango is the perfect candidate for an acquisition by Facebook or one of its competitors and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the next stories we wrote about them would be about their acquisitions.