They definitely don’t seem as popular as they used to be, but every once in a while I’ll get invited to a Facebook group or event because some tragic fate befell a poor soul’s phone and now they need everyone’s phone numbers again.
Getting all of those phone numbers is just part of the equation though — they need to wind up on the phone itself, which more often than not means scrolling down a huge list of names and numbers and punching them all in by hand. I’m not sure that’s anyone’s example of a good time, but a newly-minted service called NeedNumbers.me aims to remedy that problem with a minimum of hassle.
Here’s how it works: panic-stricken phone losers can connect the service to their Facebook accounts, at which point they’re greeted with a full breakdown of both the groups and the event listings they’re a part of. Selecting any of them prompts NeedNumbers to whip up a list of their friends’ names (or pseudonyms, as the case may be) and the phone numbers they’ve chosen to share within those groups.
It’s worth nothing that the service isn’t always 100% accurate — NeedNumbers will pick out whatever number it sees in a post even if it clearly doesn’t belong to the person who posted it — but it’s plenty good enough if the group in question is just meant as a place to dump contact info. Fortunately users can edit those names and numbers before they’re all loaded into a standard VCard file, which can then be sent via email to whichever device needs it the most.
Not too shabby at all, especially considering 17-year old entrepreneur Stephen Ou (who helped create TwtRoulette a few years back) whipped the whole thing together as a side project in five hours. Granted, it’s not a perfect solution — there are smarter ways to handle contact storage that negates the need to create these sorts of groups — but people still seem to keep making them, and they should be using NeedNumbers if they do.