Facebook in particular was never intended to be a dating service, but that’s exactly how developers are using its application programming interface, or API.By harnessing friends and interests and years of willfully offered user data, a new crop of apps and services claim to offer more successful online dating experiences than what’s offered by, say, Plentyoffish, Ok Cupid or Match.com, the industry’s old guard.“You’ve got a tremendous amount of data about the user — and not just about the user but about his/her friends — that they would otherwise have to input into your app,” Rob Fishman explained in an interview.
“If you’re writing a dating profile for yourself you’re going to put your ideal self forward, and you may be embellishing a little bit,” says Queen’s Unversity media professor Sidneyeve Matrix.“So you may get your real self if you look at your social stream.” But one app in particular, called Tinder, is rapidly gaining users in U. colleges and schools, where its developers have been testing the product since last fall.The app works similarly to Yoke by mining user’s connections with his or her friends, finding other single users with shared likes and interests on a friends-of-friends scale.Don’t know what to put in your online dating profile?A new generation of apps and services are handling all of those messy, descriptive details for you, using the personal information that you’ve already shared online.
Instead of entering likes and interests into static web forms, developers are increasingly turning to the myriad, constantly updating data points found in Facebook Inc., Netflix Inc., music streaming services and even Amazon Inc.
to build a more complete – although not always accurate – dating profile from our digital selves.
Fishman co-founded Kingfish Labs with fellow entrepreneur Jeff Revesz, and developed the mobile dating service called Yoke.
The pair not only leveraged API data from Facebook, but also Amazon and Netflix to create what they believed to be more accurate matchmaking results. Others, such as have used the Spotify API to connect single users to those with similar tastes in music.
The bluntly named Bang With Friends — a play on Zynga’s once-popular puzzler game Words With Friends — is a Facebook-driven app for hookups based, apparently, on looks.
For many, there’s a level of authenticity in so-called stream dating that you just don’t get from a traditional dating site.