Pipl has an ultra-simple interface that lets you search for individuals, email addresses and phone numbers.
What we liked:
Results are displayed in a single list, divided into categories including personal profiles, professional and business, web pages, blog posts and documents. Only the top few entries for each category are shown on the main page, with links to any further ones, but the presentation of content is a bit messy.
Pipl also groups photos together and will display an enlarged version of an image when you hover your cursor over the thumbnail; unlike Yasni.co.uk, these pictures are linked to actual web pages. Although Pipl carries adverts, they’re unobtrusive and don’t get in the way of your searches. The ability to find email addresses by searching for usernames is useful, because people often use nicknames instead of their real ones in email accounts and forums. It’s also a good way to find phone numbers since the two bits of information are often listed together.
How it can be improved:
It would be useful if Pipl told you on its front page not to waste time searching for ‘UK’ residents but to use ‘GB’. More UK phone numbers and fewer question marks instead of photos would be good.
Design-wise, Pipl is rather rough around the edges compared to its slick people-finding rivals, but it still does a good job of helping you track down long-lost friends.
Reviewed: Issue 212 (23 April 2009)