Friendlylook Brings Accountability to Your Mixer
Yesterday, we wrote about the recent move by online dating platforms toward functions that mimick real life interactions. Though a consistently profitable, billion dollar market,…
Yesterday, we wrote about the recent move by online dating platforms toward functions that mimick real life interactions. Though a consistently profitable, billion dollar market, the services are, in many ways, overly dependent upon stringent analytics and algorithms, with little regard for how singles, in real life, socialize with one another.
HowAboutWe, yesterday’s subject, geared its service toward a call to action - users completing the phrase, “How about we...” - which gets eligible matches in and out the door at higher speeds by circumventing the back-and-forth banter. This week, a new site, friendlylook, enters the fray with a promising - albeit slightly nerve-wracking - new pathway: friends of friends.
Banking, somewhat reliably, on notion that friends of friends share high probability of achieving some meaningful connection, friendlylook describes its experience as “going out to a party with your other best single friends to meet new people.” Create an account, and the service gathers already-active email contacts, then sends invitations to your closest friends - the most terrifying step, yet also the most necessary, in light of the fact that friendlylook is dependent upon social circles. In fact, the friends connected need not be single or looking - they can simply be present and able to push conversation. Users, in all aspects, need only share as little or as much as they want, providing basic details like gender, age, location, and religion, and then participating as they wish.
On their site, though, friendlylook makes a strong point: “Participating with your friends from ‘real life’ in an online dating network may seem unusual at first, but this is only as you have never done so before. It's an entirely natural behavior in real life, and it only makes sense to translate it to an online environment.” Participation, which extends to singles separated by four degrees, has a number of unusual strengths: the dependence upon mutual connections, obviously; the ability of the friends to boost your reputation by “vouching” for you; the need for tasteful, thoughtful approach, in light of these mutual friends; a new mode of communication that allows users to post general status updates and propose dates, to which other users can respond, much like HowAboutWe.
Founded by Trevor Chidester and David Patton, then launched in public beta at Tech Cocktail’s DC Mixer, the site’s approach to service holds promise if the connection between physical and online social patterns can be successfully articulated. The stringing of friends could allow for quick growth, and group participation is in itself an inherent and natural approach, unlike the formulaic methods familiar in online spheres. In this, ultimately, the success of the venture will help define just how “social” social networks are.