WhitePages.com has created a new (location-aware) mobile and Web-based contacts manager called Hiya. Most people’s contacts are highly disorganized and incomplete — I know mine are. WhitePages.com aims to change all that with Hiya.
According to a survey WhitePages conducted with Harris to publicize the beta launch of Hiya:
- 94% of adults store contacts (in any form). Of that group, contacts are in/on:
- Mobile phones: 39%
- Paper/address books/rolodexes: 30%
- Documents on PC: 8%
- Online services (e.g., Plaxo): 1%
Hiya will clean up and help de-dupe your contacts. It also fills in some of the blanks (address, phone information) from the WhitePages.com database. There’s a website and an iPhone app, with Android on the way. You can import up to 1200 contacts; I discovered had over 7,500 in my Gmail account however.
Users can import contacts from Google or their iPhone contacts (and soon from other sources). Once uploaded they’re de-duped. Automatically each contact is matched with the WhitePages database to fill-in missing public information (e.g., address info). That information isn’t present 100% of the time. (One caveat: if you’re going to use Hiya at a minimum you’re required to have a city/zip public profile on WhitePages.com. They won’t let you use it and be totally anonymous.)
After the set-up process you have the option to sync (one way, two way or not at all) all your contacts with their respective sources so there’s a single unified contacts database. I immediately thought that if you could export the data it could become an effective and immediate marketing database for individual and SMBs. However, WhitePages told me that this is intended for individuals and not supposed to be used for marketing purposes.
A novel feature (provided the address information is present) is location awareness. You can set a radius and “flag nearby contacts.” It won’t show you actual presence, in real time, like an LBS service but it reminds you who resides in town. This might be useful if you’re traveling, to remind you who lives/works in Orlando or Dallas for example.
Overall it’s quite a good app and has the capacity to totally replace your address book on your phone. You can initiate calls or texts from Hiya as well.
Monetization hasn’t been figured out but may resemble the WhitePages.com app, which is a “freemium” model.