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Yesterday I had a ton of invites into a new social networking site Quechup. Some of the invites were from a variety of people I know, some were random, and one or two from people I respect to be somewhat of an authority on social media, if that is even possible.

Having so many email invites in my inbox around a similar time-frame of course meant that clearly some kind of email import facility was taking place, and let’s be up front here, pretty much ALL social media sites have this form of functionality these days, I mean hell I’m planning it into the new re-build of The Phone Cam.

Email Importing

If you are not sure what email importing is I’ll explain it. The concept is actually very simple and VERY useful for us to be able to build our network of contacts. Basically what takes place is that a script, upon your command (this is key), will go off and log-in to your email client, which can range from Gmail to Yahoo and then import your address book to the said application’s database. Now this is a very useful feature because now you have all of your contacts in the new application which you can then invite into the network. Of course some contacts you would want to invite and some you wouldn’t.

Where did Quechup go wrong?

Quechup didn’t let YOU choose who to invite, it invited everyone to the party!

So Quechup have seemingly operated in one of three ways:

1. Purposefully designed their system so new users think that address book importing is part of the mandatory sign-up, i.e. something you MUST do (which it isn’t in fact, you can skip it)
2. Unknowingly created the above environment (not likely)
3. Created the situation where they know mass e-mails will be sent and “hey, if it creates a stir we’ll get a ton of in-bound links and raise our google rank”.

However you view this, no matter what your opinion is on this the fact of the matter is that you should READ what the page says as it is very clear. In any case there is a link which says “I don’t have an address book”!


“Congratulations! Welcome to Quechup. Find out which of your friends are already members. Choose the address book with the most contacts and we’ll search for matches so you can add them to your friends network and invite non Quechup members to join you. By inviting contacts you confirm you have consent from them to send an invitation. We will not spam or sell addresses from your contacts.”

That is pretty clear in intention, and this is where I stopped during my sign-up. Why did I stop, well I didn’t want to invite anyone without knowing what the system was actually about, I never do that.

Now if you are one of the unlucky people who didn’t read that and went ahead and created the account anyway with the address import I can only say you should READ these things clearly in the future, it’s quite simple.

I would say though that Quechup could be seen as “sneaky” on this matter, as the wording could be more explicit of the outcome, it’s not overly obvious I have to say.

So what happened?

Well what happened is some of the early adopters in social media networks created accounts only to find out a ton of email invites on their behalf had been sent out from their imported address books. This ruffled quite a few feathers and what appeared to happen was a slight hyseteria took place, with many of followers of some of the “influencers” (I do not like that title) “brown-nosing” and all joining in on the Quechup “witch-hunt”.

Now right there is what I dislike most about social media, that mass hysteria, and somewhat blind following, like some kind of religious cult. I saw person after person jump on the “band wagon” of Quechup hatred without first finding the facts, and that scares me, a lot!

What should have happened is each individually should access the situation exactly and not jump to conclusions, use their own brain and not just bite the hook every time, you are not a sheep.

As a closing remark, I do not think Quechup would give a crap at all if they ruffled some feathers of some “influencers”, by now they will have more than enough momentum to build a solid network, I could be wrong, but time will tell.

The other thing is it might be worth giving them the benfit of the doubt and ok so they made a mistake, have you never made one? I’m not saying it was a mistake to be unclear, but it may have been, you know?

Now, please do comment, and give it substance and evidence please, not just excited “but they spammed but they spammed”, because they did warn you as far as I can read it.