Just when you thought social media couldn’t sink any lower, someone comes along and creates a “Yelp-like” review app for rating people – and hilarity ensues.
There’s a new app in town called “Peeple” and, even though it hasn’t been released to the public yet, it has a lot of people peepled-off.
Peeple is an app that lets people post personal reviews and ratings on each other for all the world to see.
Peeple will also have a people search tool that will let users search reviews by a person’s name and other personal information.
Although the app is still in beta and has not been released publicly, Peeple has already been widely described as the “Yelp for people.”
However, the app is also generating a digital mountain of negative press and publicity.
The media site RedEyeChicago described the idea for Peeple as “so awful it’s almost funny” and on Twitter @USATodayTech lampooned the app as “a bad nightmare from middle school.”
In addition, a lot of users on social media have suggested that the app’s creators should change the name to “Creeple”.
Peeple’s marketing copy reads like a laundry list of utopian cliches that look like they were written by the propaganda minister in some banana republic.
For example, the app’s tagline reads: “Character is destiny.”
Ironically, if that tagline is true, then the two individuals behind Peeple, Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough, may have a problematic future ahead of them.
For starters, the app’s creators didn’t even do basic online research to see if anyone else was using the Peeple name already.
Unfortunately for them, there is already another company called Peeple that is not happy with their use of the name or the negative publicity which has spilled over onto their company from it.
The other “Peeple” makes a wireless gadget that allows you to see who is knocking at your door from your smartphone. It is like a caller ID for the front door of your house.
Another issue, is the fact that anyone who knows your name and phone number can start a Peeple profile on you, regardless of whether or not they really know you.
That’s right. Your full name, contact information and other personal details, including gossip and rumors, can be shared on this app without your consent. This is probably the ultimate goal of Peeple to begin with.
What many critics have missed is the fact that the real aim of an app like Peeple is the mass collection of personal data.
Collecting personal data on people has become a digital gold rush. For billion dollar examples of this, look no further than Facebook or Google. There are also less famous players in the personal data marketplace like Acxiom.
Companies like Acxiom are not household names, but they probably know more about you and your family than the FBI or CIA.
If enough people use Peeple, the personal data shared on the app could prove very valuable to the company.
Unfortunately, the internet is full of frauds and trolls who would chomp at the bit to use and abuse an app like Peeple.
It’s easy to see how this app could easily degenerate into the latest tool for trolls and career cranks.
However, it will be entertaining to see what hilarity actually ensues once Peeple officially launches.
We are still waiting to see if Peeple will also have a “check-in” feature like Yelp. Sorry, but we just couldn’t resist that one.