Consider two scenarios. a) You go out to a party, by yourself, with the sole intention of meeting someone you can take home, or ask on a date. or b) your friends think you need a girlfriend or boyfriend, and drag you out to a party and try to get you to meet people and facilitate it that.
Scenario (a) is a relatively uncommon occurrence with, what I assume to be, a lower success rate than (b). Unfortunately, all successful dating sites thus far are almost perfectly analogous to (a).
The differences between the two situations are pretty big because of the countless nuances that make people just generally seem more sociable when they're being social compared to when they're sort of trying to be social.
In a sense, this introduces the concept of a good wingman into the online dating scene.
Beyond that, I think by having other people manage your profile, you're taking away some of the stigma associated with dating profiles. Among them that they can become very self-important, uncomfortably personal, and come with a certain level of expectation of being honest. By making everything second-hand, you have to be more realistic in your evaluations of people's profiles.
Moreover, I think it dampens the 'desperation' factor. I think this is also a lesson we can gain from the analogy in my second paragraph.
I know this because it has been advertised quite a lot in the popbitch newsletter but today is the only time I have visited the site (via a google, before posting this comment, to check I didn't imagine the whole thing). I find this process interesting. I might have thought the adverts were useless on me, as I never clicked them, but lo and behold the company stuck in my brain somewhere and here I am sharing the information on an internet forum (to appear knowledgable? for karma? why?). Takeaway: advertising is more powerful than I thought.
I understand they have been quite successful.
Favorite: "I got my friend laid with this web site." - Nobody, ever
It probably doesn't matter much for a weekend project though.
fixed that for you
"CupidWithFriends would like to access your public profile, friend list, email address, custom friends lists, birthday, current city and your friends' relationships, birthdays, current cities and photos." -> Cancel
(In general, I don't feel like Facebook should let me give my friends' photos [not just mine, but theirs] away to a 3rd party without their explicit consent first).
Relatedly, the 'Why Facebook' hover text says:
"We use Facebook to make it easy to see which friends use the service, add existing friends, and prevent certain friends from seeing your profile. We do not post to your wall or spam your friends."
So my friends who I don't want to have see my profile will know I'm hiding it from them? Because they'll know I'm using the service, but they can't see my profile?
The real crux of this (at least one crux, if you see this more as a gimic dating then you may view it another way) is creating a verified online image / reputation. This site simply applies that to dating, with the idea here being you are not creating the profile so it is by definition verified by other people who created it.
I had friends who attempted a social network startup based on this idea. The obvious problem you run into is the temptation by friends to write jokes / things that are untrue, which I think actually increases with a site like this. I absolutely want to see who starts reaching out to my friends after I write describe them as "Avid Harry Potter fan, captain of the local quiditch team" and add a status updates like "He's in a bad mood today, very upset he scratched his wand yesterday". Our friends attempted to put some legitimacy behind their site by requiring you to accept statements before they were publicly viewed, but then you lose a lot of the legitimacy / verified nature of the profile.
Eventually they pivoted to the professional arena, with recommendations by professionals, professors, etc. People who by the nature of your relationship are more likely to respond accurately. There are issues with this model as well, such as co-workers who you pissed off writing bad things, selection bias if you get to pick who reviews you (anonymous helps that) etc, but I think there are significantly inherent advantages in the professional arena. But even in that area, I don't think the main "issue" has been resolved.
This is definitely a concept with real business potential should it be mastered; it solves a "real-problem" which many startups do not (with the specific application here being online dating, but there are 20 other great applications which could become viable businesses). I certainly do not mean to discourage the work done (I think the site actually looks good in form and function), but it is my opinion a tweaks on this current model will not emerge as solutions to the broader reputational verification issue online. I believe an outside the box and completely different solution will emerge in this area.
What do people think? Is anyone familiar with a version of this model that really does work? Or has anyone seen another model which solves this issue and works?
I think it's something we're opinionated on: dating doesn't need to be a serious business. It's okay to be humorous, and that's also being honest. If your friends joke around and are sarcastic, you like their sense of humor, and it communicates implicitly "these are the kind of friends I have, if you don't like them, we might not get along."
There's a difference between nasty comments/bullying and sarcasm, and we'll allow bad stuff to get flagged and take it down.
1) You have to be able to message people on a dating site, none of this coming soon button.
2) You have to be able to have some rudimentary search/filter. People want to find people of the gender they are interested in, location, etc.
You've probably thought of both of these already but a dating site really has to have both of those.
How do I know if I have a friend who has a dating profile? Do they have to share that with me in a side channel like their newsfeed?
Don't get me wrong, Facebook should buy this "weekend project" for $10M before it gets out of hand. I'm just not sure if I'm going to regret clicking "Connect". Before we connect, how about you sell me on it.
What I've noticed happen is that after commenting on my friends' profiles, they've commented on mine. They just want to reciprocate the favor. But nobody joins the site asking their friends to do it.