With Coathangr, social media meets "You're wearing that?"
If you've got a hot date but just can't decide what to wear, Coathangr is here to help. Coathangr is, in the words of their beta slogan, "Social media for your pants" -- although co-founder Dave Wiskus says that will probably change to the less catchy but also less-apt-to-be-misinterpreted "Social media for fashion."
The Denver-based service is a lot like Twitter (and it integrates with Twitter for easy cross-posting), only with integrated images. "We've got Twitter for what you're doing, we've got Brightkite for where are you -- the next logical step is what are you wearing," Wiskus says. Its use is pretty simple: Take a picture of your outfit, upload it and ask for feedback. You can make your posts public or friends-only, depending on how fragile your ego feels that day. Then people tell you what they think, for good or for ill. The obvious application is fashionistas who love to show off, but frankly, the best use might be for the tech-savvy nerds who are never really sure if that shirt goes with those pants or not.
At the moment, the service is in a public beta, with about 500 users exchanging photos and feedback. Wiskus is encouraging people to come in and sign up (it's free, naturally), use it and let him and partner Jay Graves know what they need to do to make the service more useful. With just a two-man team, they've had to stagger the roll out to avoid building a buzz before the site can handle the traffic. Now that the infrastructure is in place, they're reaching out to fashion bloggers, magazines and other likely users. The company is also planning on working with local designers and fashion shows, providing real-time coverage in the near future.
The next big development is an iPhone app, planned for release sometime next month, which should make it easier than ever to show people how hot you look, wherever you are. "It's all about vanity. Twitter has proven that people love to talk about themselves, no matter how banal or uninteresting it may be," Wiskus says. "You look at all the social-media services, and the thing they have in common is people love to post pictures about themselves. They want to broadcast themselves out to the rest of the world."