In the burgeoning world of mobile-social communities, you’ve got to have a differentiator. Pinppl (pronounced by some as”pineapple,” though definitively pronounced “PIN People” by its founder, Paul Anthony) delivers the goods by building a community exclusive to Blackberry users, all based around the ubiquitous Blackberry PIN.
The PIN is Blackberry’s own proprietary user addressing system. Every Blackberry has one (though many owners may not know theirs) and Blackberry users can send PIN messages to each other as easily as they can send emails or text messages. PIN messages are “peer to peer” and can only go from one Blackberry to another.
The PIN is also a universal identifier for every Blackberry device in existence, and it’s this feature that pinppl exploits. The service itself is a pretty bare-bones social network featuring tags, profile text, connections and little else. But the fact that the service is more than usable from the Blackberry’s own browser, due its minimalist (yet aesthetically pleasing) UI means you can keep building your network on the go much more easily than some business-focused social networks. (Ever try to follow a Linkedin link on your Blackberry?) I said “business-focused” because really: let’s look at who the Blackberry user community is out there.
As a bonus, when you browse pinppl on your Blackberry, you can send a PIN message directly to any user from their profile – very smart. The question in my mind: is this the community most receptive to this kind of social networking? Time will tell. A bit more integration into the Blackberry platform itself (for example, seamless login) would also be useful.
All in all, it’s an exciting new entrant into the social networking space with an interesting slant.