Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon? People X helps you remember a name from Facebook contacts



See the original story in Japanese.

Dunbar’s Number was devised by British anthropologist Robin Ian MacDonald Dunbar, suggesting that any person has a cognitive limit in the number of people one knows and keeps social contact with, which ranges from 100 to 230 people at maximum.

Shaking hands and handing out your business cards to all the people one meets for the first time may be worth doing to some extent, but this “Dunbar’s Number” comes to my mind every time I exchange my business card with someone. One would ideally want to remember and keep close relationships with everyone one meets, but it’s difficult. That’s why Facebook has implemented the EdgeRank algorithm in how only selected posts can appear on your Facebook timeline, based on carefully consideration of such psychological phenomena among humans.

Taiwanese startup ZenIdea recently launched a mobile app called People X in open beta, allowing users to instantly find someone from one’s contacts on Facebook and other social network platforms. The app is available on Google Play for Android and iTunes AppStore for iOS.

According to ZenIdea’s survey (examination criteria and method are less clear), 93% of Facebook users said that they couldn’t remember the name of someone from their Facebook contacts when they want to message one, while 67% of the users have experienced not being able to find a friend from their contacts that they want to send an invitation for an event.

Let’s say, one remembers the face of someone in mind but can’t recall his or her name. If one puts more effort into remembering the name, many synapses in the brain would link with each others and many brain cells will be revitalized. However, let’s use the modern amenity for now. Using the People X app, one can identify a friend from one’s Facebook contacts via occupation, skills, organization  one belongs to, or countries and cities the one has been to. One need not input a name so even an ambiguous criteria like “I saw him at that place last time.” is good enough to help for finding someone in this app.

Finding someone who have a connection to MIT from contacts.

Japanese-Taiwanese serial entrepreneur Daniel Zen Chang, who runs ZenIdea, launched a mobile app called Simila.Me earlier this year, aiming to connect people to someone they should meet at parties and meetups. However, based on feedback from users, Daniel and his team found that many people need to review people they have met before rather than connecting with new people, resulting in the People X app.

Chang explained:

Daniel Zen Chang

People X aims to be a Google for finding people, but we can’t help respecting user privacy unlike Ark.com and 3sourcing. Apart from search engines for finding websites, we are not only focused on providing useful information for users but also incorporating privacy protection as our first priority.

One can have a lot of Facebook friends who can’t see posts in their timeline because of Facebook’s algorithm.

One builds a network of the people that have been met. Even if some are people met only once or twice, one shouldn’t lose the chance to reach them over social network platform as this is very wasteful.

With this service, users can contact their friends in the manner they want. We believe that People X is capable of breathing life into a less-organized and underutilized network of people.

People X is intended to let users hunt jobs, find like-minded people and potential trek mates, in addition to helping them spread their updates on social network platforms more effectively.

For assistance or discussion, it is obvious that it’s easier to ask somebody one’s met rather than attempting to contact a complete stranger. When flipping over the business card holder, one must have experienced surprise to find someone in the network who matched the requirements exactly.

In case one can’t find anyone from one’s contacts fitting the criteria, the People X app will find the one later on by adding the criteria to the wish list in the app. Finding someone from contacts one hasn’t seen for a long time and hanging out with the person to exchange recent info is a good idea.

Translated by Chieko Frost via Mother First
Edited by Masaru Ikeda and “Tex” Pomeroy