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Social Network Search Engine

Published 05/25/2012 and rated Ratingstars4 4 out of 5 stars
by Shel Gatto
What can you use the app for? is a social networking tool that lets users connect with classmates, business contacts and friends. The application is a people search engine. The user can apply specific search filters to find individuals in their area. Filter options range from gender, interest, language, likes, name and relationship to hometown, employer, college and current city. The application works for casual meetings as well as professional connections. Tabs take users to different areas based on who they are searching for. A tab is available for old classmates, business contacts and friends. The application is intended to help users expand their social circle rather than remaining within it. More than one billion profiles are indexed with, including profiles from Facebook, My Space, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Renren, Orkut and Kohtakte. screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app? was founded in 2011 by Yiming Liu and Patrick Riley. The application received $4.5 million in Venture funding from Ron Conway, Yuri Milner, SV Angel, Intel Capital, Atlas Venture and many others. So far has drawn some attention from tech blogs and similar review websites, primarily because of its vast search area. Users can visit and browse profiles across just about every major social network on the web.

What are the differences to other apps? isn’t a new social network. It is a tool that lets users explore existing social networks more effectively. The service is designed to help users grow their personal and professional contact list by meeting new people online. The application has just about every popular social network covered. The user can perform one search and see results for Facebook, My Space, Google Plus and many other well-known online communities.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

Ark has a clean, sleek feel to it that lets users navigate freely with no hassles. The website is complemented by the presence of adorable penguins that help explain the service and make the experience more interesting. The bottom of the page is one of the most unique visual elements because it contains an animated scene full of tiny penguins representing active users.

How does the registration process work?

A new user can try by clicking the blue “Create an Account” button found near the center of the homepage. The user must submit their email address to receive an invitation to register. A note in the address field advises users that a college, corporate or .edu email address will be given priority when invitations are sent out. Current users are also given invitations that they can send out to others.

What does it cost to use the application? is available to all users for free. There are no subscription fees and the user doesn’t have to pay to perform searches. This is really how it should be because doesn’t offer anything more than the services of a search engine focused on people. The application ties together many major social networks, but doesn’t offer any other unique features. is handy but would be hard pressed to convince most users to pay for its services.

Who would you recommend the application to? is an interesting tool for anyone who is looking to expand their social or professional network. The application lets users find others across numerous social networks. The user can also filter their search to find completely new people with shared interests or to look for people they used to know. The application is easy to use, but requires an invitation which might make it inconvenient for some.

  • Find old classmates and friends
  • Meet new people by searching with filters
  • Establish new business connections
  • Work with many unique people search filters
  • Explore individuals across multiple networks

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