Do your friends see you as mostly caring, sexy or generous? Find out with VI, an Israeli app that lets your friends rank your positive personality traits.
By Avigayil Kadesh
Even if you have thousands of Facebook friends and “Likes,” even if you post all your vacation pictures on your wall, people viewing your profile don’t necessarily know the real you. Are you best known most for being friendly, or for being a hard worker? Sexy or honest? Chic or humorous?
“That’s the next level the world is going to,” says Racheli Arieli, co-CEO of Israel’s VI, a mobile app for iOS (used in Apple Devices) and Android where friends can rank your personality traits from a list of 40 descriptive terms that focus on positive characteristics such as creativity and generosity. “Today we are only on mobile, and we want to go on the Web,” says Arieli, a serial entrepreneur.
“There are a bunch of apps and sites about personality, and I think in a few years it will be all over the ’net,” says Arieli. “We did it in a very fun way, a very private way. Only your friends can participate, by choosing your best five traits. I think everyone wants to know what their best five traits are. If 300 people think you’re smart, I guess you’re smart.”
VI, available through App Store and Google Play, provides users with a framework to interact automatically with the contacts from their social graph. Once the app is installed, it imports the user’s Facebook friends list and then lets the user choose five terms to describe each of their friends.
For some additional fun, VI allows you to rank your favorite celebrities, see how they stack up against each other, and compare your own ranking with that of the important public figures you love to follow.
“For the start, we’re targeting the 13 to 18-year-old market because they really want to know what their friends think of them,” says Arieli. “Who’s the most creative? The sexiest? Even Google and Facebook cannot tell you that information. It just doesn’t exist.”
In the future, she foresees VI being used by job interviewers and for other more practical purposes.
Reaching your personal potential
Arieli, along with co-CEO Meir Samson and CTO Eli Lev, launched VI in Jerusalem in January 2013 following a buzz-creating presentation at the September TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. They also showed off their app at February’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The idea for the app originated with Samson, who was working as the creative manager for an Israeli advertising agency. “I came to Rachel because she’s a pusher and can move mountains,” he says with a laugh.
The app was developed on the foundation of the Maslow Pyramid, a well-known psychology theory about human motivation and its effect on personality. According to this theory, people generally move through motivational stages beginning with physical needs and moving up through safety, belongingness/love, esteem and finally self-actualization. Understanding your own motivations and personality, the theory goes, helps you to reach the stage of greatest personal fulfillment.
The VI ranking is anonymous, so nobody has to hide their feelings – and anyway it’s all in good fun because no negative traits are included in the list.
How do your friends rank you?
Arieli believes the tool can be used as a springboard for self-improvement, too: “VI will help you understand how your friends perceive you so you can focus on the specific characteristics that are important to you but for some reason are not attributed to you.”
As of February, the app had already attracted more than 1,000 users.