By asking what’s happening or what’s on our minds, Facebook and Twitter have prodded people to broadcast just about anything, from what they ate for lunch to what movie they’re going to see. Now a new site wants to unearth more — by asking people to automatically reveal the things they buy.
Blippy, which is backed by a Twitter co-founder, asks people to share their spending habits. If you register a credit card with the site, every transaction bought on the card would be displayed to your friends on Blippy.
It might sound like ridiculous over sharing, but Blippy is serious. While there already are plenty of Web sites focused on what people are purchasing, the site’s founders think it offers a new way to learn about deals and new products. And knowing your spending habits are being transmitted to a flock of friends might make you think twice before spending $500 on a pair of designer shoes. Charities, too, could use Blippy to show that their donations are being used responsibly.
Co-founded by entrepreneur Philip Kaplan, the joker behind a profane Web site that mocked failed startups during the dot-com bust, Blippy encourages you to connect credit cards and accounts at e-commerce sites like eBay and Apple’s iTunes Store to your profile on the site. Then, whenever you buy something in person or on the Web — a cup of coffee at Starbucks or, say, a pair of boots at Zappos.com — the purchase is immediately posted for your friends to see and comment on. They’d see something like “Joe1234 spent $2.98 at iTunes.”
Some purchases are more descriptive than others. If you buy an iPhone game, Blippy can show its name, not just how much you paid. But — at least for now — if you spend $250 at a grocery store using a linked credit card, Blippy would just indicate the total amount rather than everything you put on the conveyor belt. Users can enter more details about their transactions on their own. Blippy, however, does not store its users’ credit card numbers.