Familiar is Ray Fortna, Mike Bohlander, Josh Hepfer and Marcus Womack, has an incredibly simple yet compelling value proposition, namely that billions of screens worth of untapped real estate are worth taking advantage of. Familiar is basically a socially programmed screensaver which allows you to share and display photos with contacts you select through Facebook and via email. In the beta version, all photos you upload to Familiar will turn into a collective screensaver for the people you’ve connected with, combining with photos that other users have shared in Familiar’s ‘The Shuffle’ function.
To share photos, you can either drag and drop selected images into Familar’s downloadble desktop app or use the web interface to sync from Facebook Albums (via Facebook Connect), Flickr and Picasa. Familiar co-founder Marcus Womack tells TechCrunch that they plan on supporting mobile services like Instagram and possibly others.
After Familiar users have built up a palatable collection of photos, they can go to Familiar ‘Preferences’ and decide whether to use ‘The Shuffle’ as their screensaver and/or ‘Photos I Love’ (which they can designate by clicking the ‘<3? button on each photo) as their desktop background. They can also adjust the volume on various friends by using a Less/More slider.
Womack eventually wants to develop a version of Familiar for all screens including iOS and Android. He also wants users to be able to share updates and other content like local news, stocks, sports and weather via their screensavers. Womack hopes that people will think of Familiar on the mobile phone as a mobile photo wallet and Familiar on the iPad as a mobile photo magazine.
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