Blippy.com: Sharing What You’re Buying
By Tom Ryan
Blippy.com is a social networking site that encourages people to see and
discuss what their friends and others are buying on services such as iTunes,
Netflix, eBay, Amazon, and more. They can even set it up to show purchases
from credit cards. While some view this as yet another internet-intrusion on
personal space, converts say they discover new products and deals while reaching
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Justine Ezarik, 25, said she bought
an app that tracks sleep patterns after she saw a friend buy it on Blippy.
“A lot of people are skeptical. They feel like they are sharing so much online
already,” Ms. Ezarik said. “I just feel like this is the next thing to do.”
The site’s founders said millions are already readily sharing more opinions,
whereabouts and photos on Facebook and Twitter that many initially felt overstepped
“People are sharing more and more on the internet because they are getting
so much benefit from it,” Philip Kaplan, a co-founder of Blippy told the Times. “From
the user perspective, it’s just a stream of cool stuff that your friends are
buying. From the business perspective, it’s the ultimate word-of-mouth marketing:
I buy something and tell all my friends about it.”
While privacy critics warn that social sites such as Blippy open up consumers
to identity theft and invasive marketing, the founders said safeguards are
in place. Moreover, the site provides tools to limit what people see. After
credit cards or accounts such as iTunes or Zappos are registered on the website,
transactions are streamlined in a Twitter-like feed. Users can opt to share
those purchases with the public, with only their friends, or not at all.
But the Times found some people revealing more than they expected
to. A Blippy advisor realized his friends found out he broke up with his girlfriend
after downloading the iPhone app for JDate, an online Jewish dating service.
Brad Wayland, a 30-year-old executive with T-shirt company BlueCotton.com
and a early Blippy fan, now only shares what he buys at iTunes and Amazon after
seeing his family’s monthly health insurance bills show up on Blippy.
“I started thinking about what information I really wanted people to be able
to see about me,” Mr. Wayland said. “I am not sure I want the world to know
that I ordered a No. 2 super-sized and two chocolate chip cookies at McDonald’s.”
Discussion Questions: What do you think about the appeal of Blippy.com?
What may limit its growth potential? Do you see many Americans being willing
to reveal their spending habits online?
- Blippy.com gives the world a peek inside your wallet — and that’s the
point – Los Angeles Times
- Blippy shares users’ spending habits- The Associated Press/Indy.com