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Mobile App Organizes Contacts Based On Relationships

Brewster's algorithm monitors how a user interacts with people across multiple social networks, creating relevant lists for searching.

Allie Walker
Allie Walker on July 13, 2012. @NYC_Allie

Searching through contacts on a phone can be a daunting task- duplicate entries for contacts are hard to avoid if you aren’t an organization fiend, and unused names on a list just add clutter–but who actually takes the time to delete them?  The new mobile app Brewster aims to put context around searching for contacts- if you’re searching for business contacts, there should be one list, for friends in NYC, another list.

Brewster works by examining the relationship between a user’s Google Apps, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and FourSquare contacts; the app’s algorithm monitors the interaction between the user and their contacts on the various platforms and creates lists from the interactions. The contacts a user interacts the most with will get put into a ‘favorite’ list, and users can also easily find contacts through keywords, finding contacts by filters like city and interests.

Steve Greenwood, the entrepreneur behind Brewster, says the inspiration for the app came out of his analog attempt at categorizing his contacts by how he knew them; he wanted to solve the question of how, in an increasingly connected world, he and others could ‘stay on top of who [they] know and how [they] know them?’

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures spoke to Brewster’s potential:

This new address book is smart because it knows a lot more things about your relationships than you have ever entered into your address book and it is adapting in real-time to all of this data. It knows who you probably want to talk to right now and it also knows who you are losing touch with and displays all of this data in a feed. Your Brewster address book is also de-duped and hot linked to all the social activities you want to do from calling, texting, facebooking, or whatever.

This is an address book that can handle a search query like ‘knicks game’ or ‘sushi tonight’ or ‘band of horses concert’. We are always querying our brain with questions like that. Now we can ask our address books those kinds of questions. [via]

Brewster can even tell a user which contacts they’ve fallen out of touch with- a perfect opportunity for helping people reconnect, or the final impetus to help people hit the ‘delete’ button on a bygone contact.

Brewster

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