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Does the Internet Know Your Age? Check FullContact, the Contact-Updating API

FullContact

According to FullContact, my first name is Kira, my last name is M. Newman, I’m female, and I live in Washington, DC. Other than the middle name blip, that’s pretty accurate, considering I left DC only two months ago. You can see what FullContact knows about you here.

FullContact helps developers enhance their app’s contact list by correcting misspellings; adding full names, job titles, and social media links; and suggesting an updated image. Costing as little as 3 cents per contact, this service has attracted customers like Contactually and SnapEngage.

“This is a problem that nearly every person in the world has,” says cofounder Bart Lorang, about keeping contacts current.

FullContact works by aggregating digital contact records and using a patent-pending algorithm to figure out the most accurate information. This distinguishes it from competitors like Jigsaw, which facilitates contact sharing among businesses; and Plaxo, which targets consumers rather than developers.

Founded in 2010, FullContact graduated from TechStars Boulder in 2011 and attended our Tech Cocktail Boulder mixer, and they have raised $1.85 million in funding.

You may be surprised at how much FullContact knows about you, but they have taken steps to protect privacy. You can claim your contact information, hide certain parts, and disable future updates. FullContact also makes sure data is publicly available before releasing it, although private data can be used to confirm a public record, and prevents ad networks from purchasing contact info.

With privacy addressed, FullContact’s next step is to streamline the process of updating contacts, which currently involves sending files back and forth in XML, json, or vCard formats. They plan to create a “contacts under management” system that updates automatically and provides a confidence factor for each field.

Developers can check out their libraries here.

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About the Author

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and positive psychology. Since 2011, she has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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