Ark ( ark.com ) started off as a free people search site several years ago, but they now offer a smartphone app for iPhone and Android devices that allows you to search for someone by name on social media sites.
According to the Ark website, their search has information on over a billion people, and their app “beats Facebook and Google at people search.”
We decided to try out Ark’s claims by doing some full name searches on the app for ourselves.
People Search Results on Ark
Trust us when we say that Ark doesn’t even register as a useful alternative to Facebook and Google search for finding people online.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell if Ark is a really lame animation, featuring penguins with people’s names on them, or if it is just a really bad version of Facebook’s profile search in the form of a smartphone app.
Our test search results on the Ark app were incredibly disappointing.
We tested Ark by running dozens of full name searches through the app’s search box, and the results were dismal. The search results largely consisted of broken links to Facebook profiles and other social media sites, minus any identifying profile pictures.
The lack of people’s profile pictures in Ark’s name search results really limit its usefulness as a tool for finding a person.
What Others Have Said About the Ark Search
According to Ark’s site, their search site and app have received rave reviews from some big name media sources.
CNN reportedly called Ark “a search engine that’s been redesigned for people.”
PBS reportedly said that ark is “the best place for people searches on the web.”
Cnet reportedly observed that “this is most notably not something Google can do.”
All Things Digital said that “Ark is almost too good to be true.”
Since Ark’s site does not link to the above reviews, we would like to know the exact pages that these reviews were published on, and who wrote them. Our experience with the test people search results that we ran on Ark did not come anywhere close to these glowing reviews that are published on Ark’s site.
Our Rating for Ark’s Search App
The Pros: there really are no features or benefits that we can find on the Ark search app, especially when compared to numerous other search apps and sites that are available to people.
The Cons: everything from the odd user interface to the dismal people search results and the broken links for the Facebook profiles. In addition, the lack of people’s profile pictures in the search results make it even more difficult to find someone using the app.
Furthermore, the Ark app has no way to do a reverse phone number lookup or reverse street address search, which really limits the app’s usefulness as a way to lookup people.
Based on the name search results that we found on Ark, we have to rate this app as a total bust, with a 0/5 rating. While testing the Ark search, we wondered if this app was ever any good, or if it was ever tested or updated by the developers.
Honestly, the Ark app isn’t even worth the time it takes to download it and register an account to use it. Save your time and disk space by doing your name searches for people on Google, Facebook, or any number of other free online search engines.
In addition, there are free people searches out there that are much better for finding contact information on someone, including: Zabasearch, Pipl, PeekYou, and white pages sites like Superpages and AnyWho.