Peeple human-rating app revamped to keep it nice

Peeple, the app described as a "Yelp for rating people" launched today, with what it calls anti-bullying elements geared to keeping postings nice.

Calgary-based founders give users more control after outcry over concept

Founder Julia Cordray on what she learned from the 2015 outcry over the idea of rating people. 6:47

Peeple, the app described as a "Yelp for rating people" launched today, with what it calls anti-bullying elements geared to keeping postings nice.

The Calgary-based social media app calls itself  "a reputation building tool that lets friends and acquaintances recommend you in three distinct areas of your life: personal, professional, and dating." It launched on the Apple operating system on Monday.

And in a departure from the original conception of the app, everyone who joins will have the option of deleting posts they do not like.
Julia Cordray, founder of Peeple, said the app has been revised to address people's concerns. (CBC)

That was a hard-learned lesson for the founders of the tech startup.

When they first announced they intended to launch a people-rating app, there was an immediate backlash.

People believed Peeple threatened their privacy, was prone to cruel bullying and would be abusive.

Founder Julia Cordray said she had to go back to the drawing board to deal with those concerns.

"We made four changes to the app based on that feedback and we really feel like we gave the users what they asked for," she said in an interview with CBC's The Exchange.

On the revised Peeple, people will no longer be rated like restaurants, no one can make a post about you without your approval and you can deactivate your account at any time.

Instead of a rating, there is an "honouring people" number which is the total number of recommendations you've got in the three categories, Cordray said.

She pointed out that nothing on Peeple is anonymous. 

Business owners, job seekers, dog-walkers and babysitters could use Peeple to establish their credentials, she said. 

"Think of character as a new form of currency. The Peeple app is for anybody that wants to share their reputation and share it with others," she said.

Peeple is currently free, but users may eventually face a subscription costs of about 99 cents a month, she said.

Users will still be able to see negative comments with a paid subscription called a "truth licence" which will be available soon. Another potential future feature — the opportunity for rebuttal. 

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