Published Date: 10 - 02 - 2015
If you own a business then you have probably already dealt with Yelp. If you are unfamiliar with Yelp them here is a quick catch you up. Yelp is a review site that allows people to log in and write a review about a company. Although Yelp was create with good intentions it didn't take very long for the concept to be exploited. By allowing anyone to put up reviews about a company, Yelp created a brand new industry commonly known as negative online marketing.
Yelp was at least created with good intentions where as Peeple on the other hand was not. In an age where bullying and cyber bullying is a serious problem, Peeple is just another weapon for bullies to use to torment their victims.
So what is Peeple? People is essentially Yelp for people instead of businesses. Peeple is an app that allows individuals to post reviews about other people. Think of it as the old "Hot of Not" website but on steroids. Since there is no way to verify any information on Peeple, theoretically speaking I could write a negative review about you right now. I don't have to know you to post a review about you and you cannot remove yourself from the system so if I do post a review about you then the only way you would find out is if you had an account with the system or if someone with an account told you. Peeple says that it will not allow bullying but they don't give any real details or explanations as to how they plan on policing all the reviews which could quickly number into the billions. Yelp has already proven that policing millions of reviews is not realistic.
Social media is rightfully outraged by this app and all the reviews and write-ups I have read concentrate on the ethical, social and moral implications of the new Peeple app. Although they are all valid points, there is one very important aspect of Peeple that is being overlooked. Peeple was valued at $7.6 million dollars right after launch so why was is a free app valued so high? If you look past the bullying and social ramifications of this app, you will see a HUGE opportunity to make money in advertising. Young people are going to use this app and since the only way to know if you have any negative reviews about you is actually have an account then people will be downloading this app for defensive purposes. This app essentially forces you to own it for fear of not knowing what people are saying about you which creates the perfect environment for generating advertising revenue.
As I stated before, Yelp at the very least was created with good intentions. No matter what anyone at Peeple says I can't see any reason for its creation other than a way to make money off of young people. It's too bad the developers at Peeple didn't use their talents to create a more useful app instead of creating another tool for cyberbullies. Peeple says it's an app for positive people and the only thing I am positive of is that it will be used to make young people's live more difficult than they already are.