Hunch, the new startup from Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, has launched and it’s beguilingly fun. After filling out 42 questions ranging from “Have you sky dived” to “Do you like it when the cabin crew cracks jokes on airplanes?” I was presented with a number of things I might be interested in (I chose which film directors I should watch: Tim Burton). I was hooked enough to fill out the profile page (you can get answers without logging in) and at this point it becomes clear: Hunch is a social network where the social object is sharing questions (and thus answers) which might be relevant to you. The more questions you answer the more your profile page become relevant to you. And you can of course share those questions around with a widget.
I can see also that with the release of their API, Hunch+Twitter would be an awesome combination, and I assume they are building it. If not, someone else should. It will also benefit from Microsoft’s positioning of Bing as an answer engine – useful PR for Hunch.
It’s a shame that the UK’s own decision making engine, Njoyed – now officially deadpooled (last post on it was 5 months ago) – couldn’t get it’s act together. But Hunch could spell good news for Imagini – the UK startup which has perfected a system for profiling users through asking them questions about images, and which has $13.5m in funding. I can certainly see them doing a deal at some point.
There is of course a big issue about how private your data will be on this system. It’s a glib answer but I trust Fake, creator of Flickr, on this one. But it’s a subject that will be continually asked of them.