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Shaker, an online chat room where Facebook users can interact with other Facebook users, won the Disrupt Cup as the most disruptive company at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 conference in San Francisco.
It’s kind of like Habbo Hotel, where you can walk around and interact with the “bar’s” environment and talk with other individuals in the “bar” — the app’s graphical representation of a chatroom. But it’s not a dating app, even though there are plenty of ways to strike up a conversation with a girl or guy you might be interested in, the app’s founders said on stage.
The cup comes with a $50,000 award. Prism Skylabs, a company that captures video from security cameras and webcams and creates a stream of real-time images of a business, was the runner-up in the competition. Vocre, a translation application for the iPhone, was the most popular app with the audience.
“We will create different experiences which will compete with different sets of time like dating or socializing, it’s like Turntable but it goes beyond the music” Shaker co-founder Yonatan Maor said. “It’s not a dating site, but there’s plenty of flirting — you can see people dancing on the bar and hooking up.”
When you approach someone else in the room, it opens up a chat window where you can speak with them. You can also view what you have in common — like what musical artists you like and what friends you have in common. You can view profile pictures and some Facebook information like photos that other users are willing to share.
Shaker was founded in June last year and has raised $3 million in funding. The startup is based in New York, N.Y. It launched a private beta in Tel Aviv three weeks ago. The app has more than 10,000 users, Maor said.