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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July, 2003, 05:40 GMT 06:40 UK
Search for web's favourite colour
By Aaron Scullion
BBC News Online staff

A rainbow against a blue sky
Anyone can submit their favourite
The identity of the internet's favourite colour may soon be revealed, thanks to a project by a British web designer.

Anyone with access to e-mail or a picture messaging mobile phone can take part in the quest.

The favcol.com site works out the average colour of all pictures sent to it and displays it as the background colour on the site's home page.

Soon the service might even be able to tell us the most popular colour on the net per hour, month, or even per user.

How it works

Site designer Matt Webb expects the top colour to come out as "some kind of beige", but says the types of pictures people send in will have a major influence on results.

I'm looking forward to getting spam. I can see the colour slowly getting pinker, more flesh-toned
Matt Webb, site designer
"A program mixes up all the colours to get a single one, so it's better to ensure your favourite colour fills the picture.

"If the picture is of a post box, but from far away, the program can't tell which colour you mean, and will mix in the colour of the pavement, people walking by, and so on," he told BBC News Online.

"If you're really close up, the average colour will be a good post box red, and not a brownish-grey."

Currently only the most recent photo is displayed, but soon, hourly and monthly averages will be available. People should also be able to use the site on an individual basis.

"Anyone could use their phone to snap colours when they're out and about, and collect their own favourite.

"It could be used to help decorate a house, for example."

Pink spam

Most web users dread getting junk messages, but Mr Webb, who has been receiving more picture messages than e-mails until now, is interested in the effect lots of spam will have.

He believes the favourite colour could "slowly turn pink" as pornography and other unsolicited mail floods the service.

"In a way, that's more representative of the world wide web than anything else."

Matt, whose own favourite colour is brown, plans to blur the images shown on the site when that begins to happen.

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