So let’s be honest. When is the last time you used a phone book? Not for a booster seat or a step stool, but to actually look somebody up. If you’re anything like 90 percent of America, you probably can’t actually remember. The internet has all but replaced the phone book, even giving us access to those outside of our immediate geographic regions. The web has become our 411 line, giving us all the information we need to access people, businesses, and information from virtually any place and at any time.
Before 411 online became an option, 411 was the phone number dialed by those wishing to reach telephone directory assistance. Call centers still answer approximately 6 billion 411 calls in the U.S. every year, and operators search for the phone number requested. Since personal landlines have become less and less common, 411 also offers a wireless telephone directory. However, consumers are given a choice about whether or not they wish to be included.
Though 411 calls are still made, is is undoubtedly true that more traffic is given to online people finders like 411 online, which is not affiliated with directory assistance, but instead with White Pages, the provider of most phone books. Users can search 411 to find people, along with their addresses, phone numbers, approximate age, and associated persons who may also be in residence at the given address. To find people 411 also allows users to search a phone number or address to find the person or people associated with it.
Some users find 411 services unnerving, and prefer not to be included in the directory. 411 online does allow users to remove their information from the site after creating an account, emphasizing that all information is collected through the use of White Pages services. According to the 411 online site, billions of records are ingested monthly from a wide variety of public sources, and the information is organized on the site for easy perusal resulting in the most accurate and complete set of contact information data in North America.
Users interested in locating particular persons find 411 online useful, as individual people are not usually easily found through standard internet searches, and as many opt not to include their phone numbers or addresses on social media accounts.