Chirp offers a screensaver that you download, then sync with Facebook, Flickr and soon, other sites. It displays status messages, photos and more from your friends. If you see a photo or update on Chirp that you want to look at, you click on it to go to the source site. (Demo here.)
It reminds me of the SETI screensaver – you know, the one that uses your computer to analyze radio telescope data collected by researchers, trying to find signs of intelligent, extraterrestrial communication. The difference is, Chirp is a screensaver that helps you see intelligent communication from your friends.
I fully accept that the screensaver is “a medium of distribution” for many people, as Eve Phillips, the company’s chief executive, describes it to me. Personally, I’m not in the demographic that would find a product like this useful. I’m a laptop user (on a Mac; Chirp only works on Windows, for now). I close the lid when I’m not using it. I don’t really need a screensaver to keep my power on, even at low power.
However, two-thirds of social network users also use the screensaver, according to the company’s studies.
Chirp is based in San Francisco and has raised seed funding from Greylock Partners, Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech VC, and angel investors Reid Hoffman, Jay Adelson, and Dave Samuel. It’s screensaver is currently in beta.