For a complete printable list of all FAQs and Answers in PDF, click here.
1. What is Sparkify™?
Sparkify™ is a free “pre-social” networking app that allows users to select from hundreds of possible common interests (sparks) from twenty diverse categories and then search to find matches in close geographic proximity in order to “spark” a conversation. The conversation could be in person or in a chat function.
2. How does Sparkify™ differ from other social networking apps?
Sparkify™ is geared to matching common interests to “spark” a conversation. It is not geared to dating, business, or social. Of course, anything is possible after you meet someone, but that is up to you. You have your initial icebreakers. Sparkify™ profiles are short and professional. A first name and last initial, a professional picture, and some very basic personal information are all that are listed. The simplicity and selection of “sparks” to screen for matches of selected common interests that you can change at any time sets Sparkify™ apart from other social networking apps.
3. What is a “Spark”?
A “spark” is an item of common interest that is designed to “spark” a conversation with someone you have not previously met. We like to think of sparks as common interests between two people, basically ice-breakers to start a conversation. It could be that you like the same type of food, went to the same college, are a fan of the same sports team, or a combination of these and many other sparks! You select sparks from twenty diverse categories. You can select up to ten sparks to search for matches. Generally you choose “sparks” that you have some interest or relationship with, but that is not required. You are free to select whatever sparks you wish and to change at any time. If you do “match” with someone, it is then up to the two of you to start the conversation and go from there.
4. How do I start using Sparkify™?
We have made it as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Sign-up, Create a Profile. It’s simple and you can use your Facebook or LinkedIn profile to make it even easier.
2. Select up to ten interests or “sparks.” These are changeable at any time, and you are free to choose sparks from twenty diverse categories.
3. Search for people in close geographic proximity with matching sparks. Sort them by distance, number of matching sparks, or by one specific spark.
Then you decide: Chat and/or meet with your initial ice-breaker and common ground already identified.
5. Why should I sign in to Sparkify™ with Facebook or LinkedIn?
If you sign in with Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ll have an easier, better and faster experience all around. Once you’ve signed in with Facebook or LinkedIn, you can select your profile picture from that service as your profile photo in Sparkify™. You can always change this by taking a new photo or choosing an existing one from your camera roll or albums on your device. And of course, you won’t have to remember another pesky username and password.
6. How many Sparks can I select?
You can select up to ten sparks to use in your Search. They can be in different categories or in the same category. Any combination is fine. They can be changed at any time. You can also select less than ten. You may want to do this if you only want to screen for matches based on one or a few “sparks” and want the results to be more specific. We restrict the number of possible selected sparks to ten so the search does not become unwieldy.
7. What do I see in the “Search” results?
You’ll see listings of users nearest to you, and if there’s a yellow Spark icon next to a person in the list, you’ll know you have a matched common interest. The category icons show you what type of spark or sparks you have in common, i.e. Food, College, Physical Activity, etc. By default you’ll see people listed by distance, but you can also search by number of common sparks, or by a specific spark, by using the Sort button.
Tapping on a profile or “>” in the search results list will take you to their detailed profile, where you’ll discover whether they are online now, and if not, when they last were, as well as their physical distance from you. You’ll also see the specific sparks that matched as well as their other selected sparks (unless the user has turned that off in Settings). And you’ll be able to start a chat with them. Whether or not they are active in the Sparkify™ app at that time, they’ll get a notification on their device. You can also tap directly on the profile photo in your search results to go directly to that person’s chat screen.
At this point we’ve helped provide that first icebreaker. The rest is up to you…business or pleasure, simple text chat, or meet up, it’s up to you and your match. If there’s anyone you’d like quicker access to in the future, you can always “Favorite” them and they will show up in your Favorites list, regardless of distance, accessible as most things are in Sparkify™, in the Side Menu on the left of the app.
8. What are the Search parameters?
The current parameters on showing Profiles:
Time: up to 100 days since logged in
Maximum Number of Profiles showing: 100
In a future update, we plan to give users the option to change these parameters if desired, as well as give users the option to only show profiles with at least one matching spark
9. What do the colored dots on the bottom right of the profile picture indicate?
Green Dot: shows on your list of search results on profiles when the user is currently on the app or has used the app within the past one hour. Note that the GPS distance details are only current and active when the user is actively on the app.
Orange Dot: after the user has not been using the app for one hour, the orange dot comes on and the time of “when last on” starts. Immediately “1 hr ago” shows, and then increases that number each hour until 24 hours. Then “1 day ago” shows and every 24 hours after that another day is added. This goes until the maximum number of days in the search parameter settings. The user continues to receive notifications.
Gray Dot: This shows only when the user has formally logged out of the app. The user does not receive any notifications until they log in to the app again.
10. What are the “Settings”?
We offer a few fixed settings as well as three adjustable settings to make you comfortable using Sparkify™. First, we only show your first name and last initial in the profile. It’s up to you if you’d like to share your last name or additional details as you get to know someone better. We also only want minimal personal information in your Profile. Certainly you can share more after your initial meeting or conversation, but we want a professional and consistent “minimal basic info” to be all that is publicly listed. Three additional settings are turned ON by default, but you can turn any or all of them OFF if desired. They are easily accessible from the Side Menu available on the left hand side throughout most of the app:
Show Distance: Shows those viewing your Profile the approximate physical distance from you based on GPS.
Show All Sparks: Shows those viewing your Profile all your selected sparks, not just those that match theirs.
Always Show Profile: Your Profile will show up for others to view even if there are no matching sparks if you are on the app and within the distance parameter and number of profiles parameter. Even if there are “no matches” from each of your chosen ten, there easily could be a reason to “chat” when you each view the other’s profile.
11. What is “Chat”?
Chat is where you can “talk” online to others. Of course, if you find an interesting profile in the same meeting or location as you are, you might just go over, introduce yourself, share your “spark,” and take it from there. If the distance is too far, then Chat is probably the best way to start the conversation. The complete chat transcript will remain viewable until you “clear chat.”
A blue conversation bubble will show in the upper right corner of any profile where a chat has started. You should also receive a notification if someone has started a chat with you. If you have logged out and are not receiving notifications, an asterisk on the blue conversation bubble of the profile should show when you again login. You may wish to at least temporarily “favorite” a profile you are chatting with, so access to the profile is more convenient, and so that it does not inadvertently disappear because of a change in distance/time/users parameters.
In a future update, we plan to give users options to “send file” like a picture and “send location” which will send a Google map showing where you are located.
12. What “Actions” can I take with Profiles?
You can take any of these three actions with a profile:
Favorite: Make the person a “Favorite” and they will show up in your “Favorites” menu regardless of their distance or number of sparks. Since the Sparkify™ app is designed to find new people to chat with, you may want to use this sparingly. You may wish to at least temporarily “favorite” a profile you are chatting with, so access to the profile is more convenient, and so that it does not inadvertently disappear because of a change in distance/time/users parameters. If someone you meet turns into a longer-term relationship, you probably want to connect with them on Facebook or LinkedIn to keep in contact. You can also “Unfavorite” a profile.
Block: If someone makes you uncomfortable or bothers you, and you do not want them to show up when you search, you can “Block” them. This will also prevent you from showing up in their searches. These profiles will be listed in your “Blocked Profiles” menu item. You can also “Unblock” from there if desired.
Report: If you find some violation of Sparkify™ policy and culture, like an inappropriate picture or chat, etc. please report this to Sparkify™ so we can keep the App proper and professional. We strive for a clean, simple and fun experience.
13. What are my “Sort” options?
After you search, your spark matches are sorted by distance by default. So the matches closest to you in physical proximity will show at top regardless of how many sparks they have in common with you. If you would like to sort by the number of matching sparks, you can choose this sorting option. Then the matches with the most yellow sparks will show at the top. If you see a “+” sign after three sparks, this indicates “more than three.” You can also sort by one specific spark if desired, so those matches come to the top.
14. What is the difference between “Block” and “Report”?
If for any reason you believe that a person is either using a fake identity or abusing the Sparkify™ community culture, please use the Report feature in the Actions menu on that person’s profile. If it’s someone that is simply annoying you and you’d prefer that you didn’t show up in each other’s search results, just use the Block feature. They’ll end up in your Blocked Profiles list, and if decide to unblock them, or you put them there by mistake, just open their profile in the Blocked Profiles land tap the Unblock button in the Actions Menu.
15. What are “Favorites”?
These are people that want to be able to have profiles show up regardless of distance, time, sparks. Once they have appeared, you can click Favorite and they will always show up in the Favorites. Since the Sparkify™ app is designed to find new people to chat with, you may not use this function often, but it is available if needed. You may wish to at least temporarily “favorite” a profile you are chatting with, so access to the profile is more convenient, and so that it does not inadvertently disappear because of a change in distance/time/users parameters.You can also “Unfavorite” someone and they will no longer show up in “Favorites.” If someone you meet turns into a longer-term business or social relationship, you probably will use Facebook, LinkedIn, or other similar social networking apps to keep in contact.
16. How can I make the Sparkify™ experience better for all?
Sparkify™ will only be successful if it is widely used. The more people that actively use the app, the better the experience is for all. Please let all your friends and colleagues know and encourage them to sign up. The “Share Sparkify™” menu option makes this easy and convenient. Post postive comments and experiences about the app in Facebook and LinkedIn. Let Bloggers and App Review sites know you love Sparkify™. Thank you. Also, please communicate with us. We would love to hear your success stories, your suggested new sparks, and any other ideas you have. Participate in our social networks available at our web site, www.sparkify.com
17. How are some people creatively using Sparkify™?
Although the main purpose of Sparkify™ is to “spark a conversation,” you can certainly go beyond that and: network, find business relationships, find friends to share activities, have fun, pass time, even find potential dates. Just be professional and polite in all your communication. Let us know if you have found other creative ways to use and benefit from Sparkify™.
18. How do I contact Sparkify™?
You can email us at any time from the “Contact Sparkify™” link in the side menu or from the web site, www.sparkify.com. We would love to hear your success stories, your suggested new sparks, and any other ideas you have.
19. Why are there currently some limits on the Sparks within the 20 Categories?
We are just starting and need to make sure all works well. The possible and potential spark listings in some categories are almost unlimited. We need to start somewhere and build from there. We do plan to expand the Sparks as interest and use grows. Please suggest additional sparks you would use.
20. Why is Sparkify™ currently only available on iOS (Apple) devices?
We are just starting and need to make sure all works well and our iOS users enjoy the experience. The programming cost is substantial. However, if the iOS app is as popular as we expect and hope, we will very quickly expand to Android.
21. Why is Sparkify™ currently concentrating on San Diego, CA activity?
Sparkify™ can be used anywhere but of course, you need users to make it worthwhile. We hope the popularity spreads quickly, but we are just starting and need to make sure all works well. We are based in San Diego, CA and will concentrate marketing efforts in San Diego to start. Also, some Categories can grow to have so many “sparks” that we need to be somewhat limiting in the beginning and grow as needed, so some of the current “spark” choices are more San Diego and/or California based.