📈Peak 🍑Peach

🍑Peach isn’t on the 🕸web.

Your profile has no❌🔗URL.

💯% proprietary walled garden🛂.

👥Private but not 👁privacy-positive.

Free as in 🍺 not 🗽.

This tweet is making the rounds today, so unpacking with obligatory thinkpiece on Medium.


New social apps burst into the world on a day, usually first spreading on Twitter, recursively repeating Twitter’s hatching at SXSW 2007. The latest trending social app is Peach by New York based Byte Inc. It may have ripened at CES 2016, the annual consumer electronics futuring bazaar.

Peach is not on the Web.

Meerkat re-burrowed. Ello nested and niched. Peach is a fruity meta-data honeypot.

Your Peach profile has no URL.

Ello, another suddenly trendy social app didn’t launch at a tech conference. Instead, Ello sparked its following with a manifesto on data rights and privacy-positivity (no ads, data control, B-corp feel-goodness). It attracted an audience category who formed an aesthetic community. The Ello software experience steadily improves as it carves out its niche of norms and personae. And Ello.co is on the Web. Everything on Ello.co is addressable with URLs.

Percent Proprietary Platform
Secure Borders

Occasionally, a social sharing app’s privacy policy will trigger controversy. Since no one will read Peach’s privacy policy, terms of service, and community guidelines, I did and have been pointing out the interesting slices on Twitter, and now here.

Will Peach enforce?
If Peach is bought or sold, their privacy policy is moot. Your data is for sale.
without Privacy

Peach is a playful semi-private sharing app. It rides the trend of a messaging command-line. Investors dub it “contextual runtimes” where the UI dissolves into natural language AIs. With Slack and the app economy in China serving as leading indicators, along with the rapid advancements of machine learning, natural language processing, and our behavior adoption, this is where software is headed.

However, Peach won’t earn privacy-positive endorsements. That’s a shame and a lost opportunity. It’s not just the people who stuck with Ello that care about privacy and data sovereignty. Research on our attitudes about privacy, apps, and data security suggest the super majority of consumers care a lot of about privacy, information, and their identity online. Anywhere from 51%-96% of the US adult population is concerned and considers it a priority, depending on the study. (Pew offers many surveyed measures.)

Peach offers a private communications and publishing platform but the deal doesn’t include privacy.

Peach takes the Slack approach to messaging as a platform and the Snapchat approach to erecting a garden walled-off from the Open Web but Peach neglects the Ello approach to innovate on user rights for market advantage. They could take a lot more steps to protect your data and give your more control. For example, if my phone number is in your phone’s address book, and you’ve shared it with Peach, they already have something I’d prefer not to share with them. In fact, I didn’t give them my phone number when I made a Peach account to evaluate it. But when Peach’s address-book connection technique seeds our phone numbers all over their database without our consent, you’re on Peach the moment one of your contacts shares their address book with the app.

Free as in gratis.
Not free as in libre.

Peach is a proprietary platform in everyway, perhaps more than anything we’ve seen to date in the evolution of social media apps. It diverts our attention away from the Open Web and into a privately-owned walled-garden. It may be fun and playful with clever magic words that induce you to share more meta data. We’ll pay for their service with our data contributions that will capture valuable stories about our lives, interests, and behaviors that can be sold to unknown parties for unknown future purposes, despite what their privacy policy claims.




Associate Professor of Media Design at Parsons School of Design @THENEWSCHOOL http://dave.parsons.edu

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David Carroll

David Carroll

Associate Professor of Media Design at Parsons School of Design @THENEWSCHOOL http://dave.parsons.edu

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