Going through my iPhone, I realized I don't even know half the people in my contacts list. Or at least I met/chatted/emailed with them at some point long ago and have since forgotten them. Sorry to all of you who email me and never get responses because I delete your emails in the belief that I don't know you.
I'm not the only one struggling to keep track of my contacts list. A study conducted by Harris Interactive in February found that for most people, mobile phones are the primary method for storing contact information, and less than half of respondents saying that their contacts are organized. In an effort to clean up the world's cluttered contact list, WhitePages on Thursday announced the launch of Hiya, an app that will leverage WhitePages' database of information on 200 million adults to fill in the gaps of missing information in users' contact lists, as well as merge duplicate contacts.
Sadly, as I realized after downloading the app, Hiya will not tell me who my contacts are, or how I know them. But it does push updates when my contacts change their numbers or email addresses, using WhitePages' database, which houses contact information on 90% of American adults. Additionally, users can go to the WhitePages website where they can locate contacts and add them instantly to their contacts list by clicking "add to my Hiya contacts."
WhitePages currently reaches some 20 million unique monthly users and powers more than two billion searches across 1,500 sites. And the company is no stranger to mobile apps: WhitePages has seen more than eight million downloads of its mobile suite of iPhone, Blackberry, and Android apps. And last December, the company launched its very first iPad app.
“While there are many online address book options out there, consumers still experience the day-to-day pain of fragmented, incomplete and out-of-date contact information,” said Alex Algard, CEO at WhitePages. “With Hiya, we’re providing an easy and safe way for people to combine their contacts that are scattered around the Web, on their mobile phones, in a rolodex, and on their computers into one duplicate free and complete master mobile and web list. This is a solution that everyone from college students to grandparents will love.”
Users who download the iPhone app can also use the "Who's Nearby" feature to find out which contacts live or work nearby.
At launch, the service will feature integration with Yahoo, Facebook, MSN Live, LinkedIn, and CSV files, and while the service is currently only available on iOS and on the Web, it will expand to Android and Blackberry in the coming months.