Mashing up data from multiple social networks seem like a great idea, certainly for marketers and those of use in public relations. However, unintended consequences can crop up pretty quickly.
Please Rob Me was probably the first such application to cause widespread concern. Its aggregated check ins from Foursquare announced when a person just checked out of their house. The owners of the site were trying to make a point about over sharing.
More recently a crop of online dating and meetup “services” have been released that have given rise to concern about personal safety.
PinPal Collects Data and Makes a Match
The most recent one is called PinPal, which was launched over the weekend into Beta. Jimmy Addison, the founder of Pinpal, was aggressively promoting and defending the service from the Twitter account @pinpalwizard last night. The service mashes up your Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, then looks up your Klout score to make potential matches.
Girls Around Me for Stalkers
Another service that recently made headlines as a potential safety hazard was the iPhone app, Girls Around Me. This service mashed up Foursquare checkins with Google maps and GPS to show you people who have checked in nearby your location. The app debuted in December and was downloaded 70,000 times before it was pulled from the app store after it lost its access to the Foursquare API. Its Russian developer, defended it in the Wall Street Journal, saying its “intention was simply to help people discover public venues nearby.”
FaceMatch Helps Make Love Connection
When I attended SxSW, I noticed an app from a Japanese company called FaceMatch, that supposedly lets your signal to someone on Facebook that you would like to get to know them better. I am not sure how it works since its website it pretty vague. Perhaps it is like a superpoke, or it deposits one of those awful posts on your timeline to join FaceMatch.
What do you think about all of this? Are we overstepping our bounds with technology by putting creativity before concerns about safety.
Would love your take.
UPDATE: The Pinpal service was an elaborate April Foos Day joke, here is how and why we did it. However, Girls Around Me and Facematch are real services, as is the app Cupitino, which was brought to my attention by Brian Block. That service matches you with other Mac lovers. Here is how they describe the service:
Cupidtino is a beautiful new dating site created for fans of Apple products by fans of Apple products. Why? Diehard Mac & Apple fans often have a lot in common – personalities, creative professions, a similar sense of style and aesthetics, taste, and a love for technology.
We believe these are enough fundamental reasons for two people to meet and fall in love, and so we created the first Mac-inspired dating site to help you find other Machearts around you.