Fast Company

Google's E-Valentine Suits Geeks in Love and Creeps Alike

Google valentine

Google's jumping into the day of luuurve with both digital feet: There's a new Google Doodle, and also a Valentine app, which leverages Google Maps to remind a loved one of a special location with the joy of a few colored pixels and the merry "ping" of an email arriving.

Google's service is at the URL MapYourValentine.com, and it's pretty simply done, wrapped up in Google's habitually white-based UI with some lovey-dovey trimmings.

What you get to do is send an e-card to someone, which simply requires tapping in your email address, the address of the recipient, selecting a meaningful location to the pair of you via Google Maps (including street view, so you could select a particular venue), and writing a short missive*. When you click "send" the letter gets carried through the ether by a pair of Google-branded cherubim to delight and titillate the receiver's inbox, with a heart-shaped map and your message. And if you care to remain a secret admirer, you can sign it with a big mysterious X if you like.

Think of it as a neat way to say "remember when we kissed behind the bike sheds at school last week?" or, more appropriately, "remember when we coded together for the first time in the computer labs at college?" There's also the possibility of using a temporary email address, and sending a "I watched you walk past my car at my favorite spying spot this morning"-type message.

We're joking about the cyberstalkery aspect of this, of course, and Google's got you covered: As part of its T's and C's it notes you must not use its system to "defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others." And there's even a prominent link on the site to Google's privacy conditions, which note that while Google will collect data on you and your partner for marketing and user profiling purposes, it won't do anything evil with it.

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*We suggest the appropriately geeky "Roses Are Red, Violets are Blue, All My Base Are Belong To You" would go down nicely with anyone who'd be thrilled by a bits-and-bytes e-card on Valentine's Day.

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