Remember the app called Peeple? The app which was controversially dubbed as “Yelp for people” despite the fact that the founders say they wanted to spread positivity and happiness? The app which just should not exist?
If you don’t remember then you can check out the initial article we ran on the topic here. After the news of the Peeple app first broke there was so much anger around the concept that every trace of Peeple vanished from the internet for some time. Social media accounts were locked down and the website disappeared amid death threats towards the founders. We also covered that story in the following days which you can find here.
The premise of the app when it first launched was that you could rate people on a scale of 1-5 starts. Honestly, who thinks this is actually a good idea in the current age of the internet where cyberbullying and abuse happen so often on a daily basis?
The founders actually persevered after the initial backlash and Peeple has been officially launched in North America yesterday. The app is still there to review people however some radical changes have been made since it was first announced last year.
Peeple users will be able to give ratings about people with whom they have professional, romantic, or personal relationships, but the star ratings from 1-5 have been dropped from the platform. Instead, users will see a tally of the number of recommendations they have received.
Users will have control over which recommendations are shown on their profile and nobody will be added to the Peeple network without giving their consent. Founders Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough raised funding at a $7.6 million valuation for their app.
While there may have been radical changes to the app there is still troubling information about what direction the app may take in the future. Peeple’s founders plan on launching a premium paid service called “The Truth License.”
According to reports, this will allow users to pay a fee so they can have an experience similar to what the original idea for the app was. It will allow users to see all recommendations regardless of whether they have been hidden or not. It sounds as if the original Peeple experience could just be hidden behind a pay wall.
Like I said previously in other articles, in the current age of cyberbullying where we are trying to tackle hate online I see no place for apps of this nature. Not just the Peeple app but any app which rates users online is asking for trouble.
Time will tell just what kind of route the app ends up taking.