Today, a new service named Swipely launched with $8.5 million in funding to make everyday purchases more social. This, of course, is a direct competitor to Blippy, the controversial service which lets you share purchases (and purchase prices). This afternoon, Blippy is swiping back at Swipely with the launch of its API.
Co-founder Philip Kaplan has just announced the feature today at the Finovate conference in San Francisco. With the API, third-party developers will be able to create their own applications using Blippy’s data. Now, before everyone gets all up in arms about this given Blippy’s recent privacy issue, the company is promising that privacy will be a key part of the API. This includes mandatory OAuth to ensure that developers only have access to Blippy data that users choose to share. Further, only approved developers will be given access to the API. Those that wish to get access, can apply here.
That said, if you do grant access to other services to use this data, they will have access to not only where purchases were made, but also how much was spent, and even in some cases the actual items purchased (depending on if Blippy has that feature set up with the vendor). Some cool possibilities that arise thanks to this include a service that looks over what you bought at the store and gives you recipes for dishes to make based on what you have. Another example of the API would be allowing a certain store to give loyal customers rewards based on the Blippy data.
While Swipely is getting quite a bit of coverage today as a sort of less-controversial sibling to Blippy, Kaplan is quick to note that Blippy has actually had the option to selectively hide or un-hide certain purchases for weeks now. Further, you can set your account so that only the things you manually approve show up in your stream. There is also an option to hide purchase price information (though it’s on by default). That is one of the key differences between the two services right now: Swipely doesn’t show purchase prices, while Blippy does (again, by default but you can turn it off).
Kaplan also notes that Blippy continues growing. Users are now collectively sharing more than $1.5 million worth of purchases every week. Back in December, Blippy was showing $1 million in purchases total, so that’s accelerating quite a bit. Blippy closed its own Series A last month and now has nearly $13 million in total funding.
Blippy is a service that allows users to automatically share their credit card transactions as they make them. This includes the place the purchase was made, the amount, and in some cases, the item. This is all placed in a social stream where other Blippy users can comment on and “like” the various items. In May 2011, Blippy shut down its service.
Swipely is a simple way for local merchants to accept payments, understand customers and grow revenue. It works with every credit and debit card customers already have, and there are no new costs and no new equipment for merchants. Founded in 2009 by Angus Davis, the Providence, Rhode Island based company includes veterans of Tellme, Microsoft, Netscape, and Paypal.