Peeple, the ‘Yelp for humans,’ offers a surreal world where we check out everyone

Cue the outrage, rustle up the privacy hawks. Get the regulators on speed dial.

Finally, it’s here.

The app called Peeple, famously described as “Yelp for humans,” is available for download at the Apple App store (an Android version is in the works), CBS News reported.

Here’s how the creators describe it:

The Peeple app allows you to better choose who you hire, do business with, date, become your neighbours, roommates, landlords/tenants, and watch, teach, and care for your children.

Sounds surreal, right? In a world where everyone is reviewed, we could stop anything negative from happening. But to be fair, who doesn’t do a bit of research on newcomers in our lives on Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Peeple wants to be that central reputation hub.

But the app garnered its share of haters when its founders discussed its gestation pre-launch last year. It surprised them apparently that people weren’t excited about Peeple.

Now, Peeple is live. Users rate each other in three broad categories — personal, professional and romantic.

Oh, there’s been some improvements to make people less Peeple-hostile.

Participating is now voluntary. A user has to download the app and sign up (last year, the Peeple founders talked about rating those who hadn’t opted in, which must have interested the Federal Trade Commission).

Reviews can only be published by the subject, so you don’t have to see mean reviews associated with your name. Another victory for the common courtesy set.

And of course, since you log in using Facebook, only real identities are allowed. No strangers lobbing blows from the sidelines.

Yes, Peeple sounds less horrible than it did last fall, but also less interesting and maybe less useful.

But wait.

In April, the app is expected to offer, as part of a paid subscription, a “Truth License.”

That “license” will include “hidden negative recommendations that didn’t qualify as harassment or violations,” as Julia Cordray, the company’s co-creator, told BuzzFeed News.

Now we are talking.

Woo people to sign up for Peeple, offering some control, and then reveal what they haven’t posted.  Maybe that is covered in the many pages of Peeple’s Terms and Conditions.

But kudos to Peeple for keeping its edgy, slightly evil edge. It may actually attract people.

In fact, the categories for review — personal, professional and romantic — strike me as too broad and bland to be meaningful.

Peeple, in its paid form, should offer micro categories of things that we actually do review each other about all the time — parenting, driving, food choices, dog ownership etiquette, musical tastes, fashion sense, voting record.

Make it available to tweens and teens (right now, only those 21 and older can sign up).

I’m sure they would offer their critique of the adults around them — gratis.

Above: Screenshot from Peeple’s website. 


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