PeopleJar, a startup that hopes to help users with similar interests connect using a highly-customizable search engine, has soft launched to the public.
The site is very well done, sporting a clean and intuitive interface, an exhaustively customizable search engine, and generally high production values. After creating a detailed profile that includes information on their education, country of origin, and interests, users can browse through a number of Networks ranging from Science and Technology to Yoga. Each Network behaves much like a Facebook Group, allowing users to post public messages to a Wall, and connect with other members of the same group.
The site’s most powerful feature is its robust search function, which allows users to search for others using many criteria. After creating a search, users can choose to have the site persistently monitor for any matches in the future.
PeopleJar’s biggest difficulty will lie in establishing a sizable user base differentiating itself from countless other social networking sites that mimic nearly the same functionality. While other networks like Facebook or LinkedIn may not have the same persistent customizable searches, they already have millions of users. Many of PeopleJar’s features rely on having a sizable user base – the complex searches won’t be any good unless they actually have someone to find.