Given the “Addressgate” controversy this week, we thought it would be useful to talk about how the Showyou friend finder works.
When you install the Showyou app for the first time, we ask if you’d like to create an account using Facebook or Twitter (you can also create a Showyou account with your email address and password, but most people choose to sign in with Facebook or Twitter for convenience). You can, of course, use the Showyou app without an account, but it lacks much of the essential functionality.
Because the goal of our Showyou app is to help you find great videos to watch through people — friends, people you know and trust, people on Showyou who have similar interests and tastes — the second step of our sign up process is the “Friend Finder” where we try to help you find other Showyou members you know.
On signup, we look for people you know using the “social graph” from Twitter or Facebook (assuming you use one of those services to sign in) or from your contacts on your iPhone or iPad. To find people you know from Twitter or Facebook, we make a call to the API of those services to see if any of your contacts (friends on Facebook, people you follow on Twitter) are already on Showyou. To find people from your contacts, we look at the email addresses in your contact list to see if they match the address of people who already have a Showyou account.
We do not store any email addresses from your contact list on our servers; we do not store any of your contacts from your social networks on our servers.
We’ve tried to implement Friend Finder on Showyou (and our registration and signup process) with two goals in mind; to keep the sign up process is simple and efficient, and to use your contact data only to help connect you to people you may know during sign up. We think we’ve struck the right balance, but we’re always open to suggestions on how to improve.