Offbeat

People-search Website Ark.com Goes on Private Beta

While Google is considered as a search engine giant and Facebook is the most popular social networking site, it’s difficult to comb through their data of users who are single, living in California and likes to listen to Adele. Good thing, there is Ark.com, a people-search website backed by Y-Combinator.

It’s All about Politics

Although it seems absurd for Google and Facebook to fail at people search, it all boils down to one thing: Politics. Neither of them would send traffic to each other or their multiple competitors.

Google shows social media results from it social network with its Search Plus Your World. On the other hand, Facebook doesn’t want to make its system more complicated by letting users creep and meet new people. Thus, Ark made its way to fill the gap between these two tech giants. According to founders Patrick Riley and Yiming Liu:

“We imagined what Google and Facebook would build together if they weren’t at war. Someone needed to Switzerland and build a search engine on top of all the social networks that’s completely remodeled for people looking for each other.”

How Does Ark Work

Launched as private beta, Ark features various layer-able filters, allowing users to search through public profiles and private data of their friends across multiple websites like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and many more. It also has filters to easily discover old classmates or new business contact.

Instead of typing a name, users can search for people using the site‘s filter. The filter options are not just the typical current city, hometown, employers and education. It also has gender, relationship status, sexual preference, general interest, and contact details like email and phone number.

The good thing about Ark is that its search results already show tons of information about various users. Thus, there’s no need for a searcher to dig into each profile to see if he or she has already found the right person. Just a single click and it will reveal other pieces of data that the site was able to gather from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, MySpace, Foursquare, Ren Ren and many more.

Once a user found the profile that he or she is looking for, it can be saved on Ark to connect later or clicked through their social media profile. However, the people-search website adheres to other networks’ privacy settings. Therefore, it can only index public data.

 

Ark is a two-person company, running on a $250,000 fund from Y-Combinator, Yuri Milner, SV Angel and Andreessen Horowitz.

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