Reppler is a new online reputation management tool that scans a user’s Facebook profile for objectionable content, privacy leaks, and security threats. The free tool can help users, especially young adults in the job market, ensure that their Facebook profiles don’t jeopardize their future prospects.
This first iteration of Reppler has some deficiencies, most notably that it only analyzes a user’s 100 latest posts. However, more comprehensive scanning may be available in later releases, and a premium tier of the service that is currently in development could offer historical analysis, custom flagging and more.
Other online reputation management services such as Reputation.com (formerly Reputation Defender) and LifeLock provide more professional and enterprise level identity and business intelligence theft prevention. Reppler is aimed more squarely towards younger users who may exhibit more risky behavior but aren’t willing to pay up to hundreds of dollars a year for protection. SafeToBe.Me, the 4-person Palo Alto-based startup that developed Reppler, has taken a small seed round of funding led by Norwest Venture partners
SafeToBe.Me’s founder and CEO Vlad Gorelik cites a Microsoft-backed study indicating that seven out of ten recruiters performed some kind of online background check of job candidates, including checking their Facebook profile. He says these checks aren’t likely to dig deeper than a user’s latest 100 posts, but that Reppler plans to provide more historical data once the service matures. The service could also prove useful for parents who want to keep their kids safe without monitoring every single thing they share.
When users visit the Reppler site, they’re asked for long list of extended permissions. Once granted users must wait a few minutes for their data to be analyzed before seeing the results in four different sections: My Impression, My Inappropriate Content, My Information, and My Privacy and Security Risks. They can also connect their YouTube, Flickr and Picasa account for scanning.
My Impression gives a sentiment analysis of a user’s wall, showing whether the general tone was positive or negative. Users can drill down to see the most frequently used words, posting trends by weekday or hour, a pie chart breaking down the sources of wall posts, and a bar graph showing in what categories users have the most Likes.
My Inappropriate Content flags posts with mentions of strong, derogatory, alcohol, drug, or adult language. Users can click the “Fix This” button to visit a flagged post on Facebook where they can choose to delete it. My Information scans the info tab of a user’s profile and shows links to recently tagged and uploaded photos and videos. My Privacy and Security Risks alerts users to malicious links that could result in their account being hacked.
Users can manage their notification settings through a set of sliders to choose whether they’ll be notified of risks immediately, by email summary, through the Reppler site, or not at all.
For being a free tool, Reppler offers a wide breadth of information about a user’s Facebook profile. Gorelik tells us that the next steps in its product roadmap include offering support for other social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
While Reppler can’t provide total assurance for one’s reputation yet, it can offer users a reality check of their safety, security and the impression their profile can give. By capturing younger users with a free tool now, Reppler may be able to turn them into paying customers as they grow up and more of our lives are shared online.