Frequently Asked Questions

How do you bill for API usage?

Billing is simple. You are charged only when the API response includes a match to your query. A match can be a person or a list of possible persons that meet your criteria (see below). Each API response that meets your criteria will be charged once. Whether the list of possible persons contains 3 or the maximum of 50 people, you are charged only once per response.

The cost per match depends on the API plan you use to make the query.


Duplicates are charged

Every query that returns a match is charged. Because Pipl's unique Identity Resolution engine continuously obtains new data, a query performed today might return a different result in an hour, day, or even a month later. For this reason, each query represents a new search.

Can I define what's considered a match?

Yes! You're in complete control of what qualifies as a match for your account. The options you have to define your match are:

Must-have data types

You decide which types of data must be returned to constitute a match. For example, "a match must include an email address or phone number."

You'll only receive and be billed for API responses that include your minimum fields—everything else is ignored.

You can make the criteria as simple or as complex as needed. For example, you can simply specify that you require email addresses. Or, you can create nested requirements, such as: "name AND address AND (email OR phone)". For more information about constructing match requirements criteria, please visit our Match Criteria Parameters section in the API reference.

Minimum match

Set the minimum confidence level desired for your API response to be considered a match. The default is 0.

An API response can include one or both of:

  • Person object (definite match): This is a single person who is the person you're looking for with all of their information.
  • Possible persons (possible match): This is a list of people who might be the person you're looking for. Each possible person includes summary data and search pointers for a follow-up search.
  • You can raise or lower your minimum match to include or exclude possible persons. Setting your minimum match to 1 means only definite matches (person objects) will be returned.

Minimum probability

This parameter allows you to set a minimum confidence level for the data returned in a match.

In some cases, we can use statistical models to infer part or all of the data—such as email address or gender—for the person you’re querying.

You can raise or lower your minimum probability to include or exclude inferred data. Setting your minimum probability to 1 means no inferred data will be used to determine a match or be included in matches. For more information, please see Inferred Data.

How many calls can I make per second?

Queries made with live_feeds allow up to 10 asynchronous parallel calls per second. Queries without live_feeds allow up to 20 asynchronous parallel calls per second. You can learn more about this here.

If these limits hinder your API usage, you can create custom settings. Please contact your Account Director or Integration Specialist to learn how.

How fast is the API response time?

Our API typically returns results in <1 second for queries that do not use live_feeds and <2 seconds for queries with live_feeds.

Where does Pipl get its data?

Pipl gathers data from sources such as public records, business listings, marketing lists, phone directories, and crowd-sourced data. Pipl also extracts facts and other relevant information from web documents, personal profiles, blogs, news articles, and publications. Data gathered from all sources is cleansed, merged, and clustered to create more than three billion detailed online identities. For more information, please see Data Sources.

How accurate is Pipl's data?

In short, very accurate. Pipl combines and cross-references data from more than one million publicly available sources. Although it is difficult to effectively verify the accuracy of each data field in more than 25 billion records, Pipl still delivers higher accuracy than other people-data providers.

What about privacy?

Understanding the potential sensitivity of people's data makes privacy critical for us. The API only provides information already publicly available from free or paid sources. For more information, please see Pipl's Privacy Center.

Can I add multiple users to my Pipl account?

Yes, you can create multiple users for one Pipl account. Simply sign up for an account and invite additional users in your account area. Be sure to set them as administrators to have access to the API keys.

Can I use MD5 hashes to query the API instead of full email addresses?

When information privacy is important, an email address can be sent as an MD5. See the Email section in the API reference for instructions on MD5 calculation guidelines. However, we suggest sending the full email address when possible to enhance the value of possible results and inferred data in case we don't have an exact email match.

Can I use Pipl to query social network services?

You can query Pipl using the username, user_id, or URL of the social service.
You can search for the username across all social network services or by specifying the specific service with an @service suffix, where "service" is the name of the service. For a list of all the supported social network services, please see User ID in the API reference.