Online dating has really taken off over the last few years, and more and more people are meeting each other through the Internet. What if you want the convenience of online dating without any of the hassle of looking at profiles, or learning anything about people before you meet them? Maybe you could try OkCupid’s new Crazy Blind Date app. It pairs single people up automatically without giving you any information about the other person besides a scrambled photo. To celebrate the launch, they’ve even removed all the photos of users on their website, calling today Love is Blind Day.
If you want to try the app, it’s available now for iOS and Android. Users create a basic profile that includes just their name, age, sexual orientation, what nights they’re free, and specific places they might like to go on dates. The profiles also include a photograph, but it gets scrambled like one of those children’s sliding tile puzzles before it gets sent to the person you’re meeting. It’s meant to keep things from getting too superficial, but anyone with basic photo editing skills can pretty easily see what you look like.
This really takes all the effort out of online dating and puts a person’s trust completely in the algorithm behind OkCupid. That’s exactly what OkCupid co-founder and CEO Sam Yagan says people want. He said, “If you ask women what they dislike most about online dating, it’s that it’s too much work. People want instant gratification. It’s the trajectory of the industry.”
This isn’t the first time Yagan has tried launching a service like this. In 2007 there was a Web and text-based version of Crazy Blind Date, but it didn’t really take off. Whether the service itself will work is yet to be seen, but having it available as a free smartphone app instead of the Web and text-based model should certainly make it easier to use.
Yagan also pointed out that the average OkCupid user will look at 20 profiles each session, and calls the profiles viewed that don’t lead to dates as “lost possibilities.” Crazy Blind Date cuts the back-and-forth that a lot of users go through to set up dates, but to see if this is something OkCupid users are interested in, I asked a few of them.
OkCupid user and comedian Liz Russo told me, “Yeah, I would not do that. You might as well just say hi to someone in public and ask them out for coffee or sex in the bathroom. You need an app for that?” She also said that most of the matches OkCupid makes for her aren’t with anyone she would pick for herself, so she’s not ready to give her faith over completely to the OkCupid computers.
Another friend and user who wished to remain anonymous said he wasn’t sure if he would be giving Crazy Blind Date a try or not. He admitted to having a sliver of shallowness, and would like to know what he’s getting into before going on a blind date with someone.
Crazy Blind Date does seem much more convenient than winnowing down a list of profiles, but there’s a trade-off, because it may be easier to get a date, but that date could very well be with someone whose profile you would have ignored. It depends on how much faith you’re willing to put in OkCupid.
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