Facebook Dating: This Site Rounds Up Single Friends of Friends
If your soulmate is still out there, chances are he or she is on Facebook. A new service called TheDatable seeks to make love connections within Facebook’s global network of more than 901 million users.
TheDatable urges users to round up eligible Facebook friends for a new social dating experiment. Tag your “datable” friends for others to connect with. Users are also part-time matchmakers on the website because they will be facilitating introductions between friends. Braver singles can also directly message the site’s bachelors and bachelorettes.
“Most of your friends are already on Facebook, so by using Facebook Connect it’s simple and quick to tag the ones you think are datable,” co-founder and CTO Michael Brotzman tells Mashable. “All you have to do is click.”
The free service lets Facebook users connect with friends of friends, and their single friends. It starts by building a network of single ladies and bachelors. Users sign onto TheDatable with a Facebook account and start tagging datable friends.
Labeling someone as “datable” sends an invite to their Facebook inbox. Datable users are essentially inviting these singles to join the network.
Of course, marking someone “datable” doesn’t mean you want to date them yourself. It’s more of a recommendation to your single friends.
Why should singles use TheDatable rather than more established rival services? Only 4% of marriages occur after couples meet on dating websites, Brotzman says. Most relationships still sprout from real-life acquaintances and meeting friends of friends.
“Over 90% of couples still meet offline through their extended circle of friends and connections,” Brotzman says. “That’s still how most dating happens. Connecting through friends of friends online helps bring this process online. We think that’s much more effective than emailing strangers on regular dating sites.”
The Datable just makes dating easy and adds a “viral dynamic” to the online dating equation. The more friends you have on TheDatable, the more singles you’ll have a chance to meet. “You’re much more likely to have something in common if you share the same extended circle,” Brotzman says.
First-time users can optimize their experience by growing their networks. Sign up, tag a lot of friends and see your “datable” network grow, the founders say. Even if one friend signs up and tags 20 singles. In that group, there will likely be 10 singles who you’ve never met, the founders explain.
All notifications are private. There are no Facebook wall prompts and users also have full control over who sees your lists. The company also has taken precautions to include blocking or flagging features.
TheDatable team believes adding a social layer to online dating and matching individuals with non-strangers is the future. It’s something that’s missing from dominant dating sites such as Match.com or eHarmony, the team says.
“Social will redefine the dating space in the same way it’s redefining every other market,” Brotzman says. “There’s no winner yet in the social dating space. It’s a wide open field. There are lots of dating sites, but they are not leveraging social. Social is the key differentiator.”
Would you use TheDatable to find singles just a couple degrees of separation away? Have you had successful relationships meeting someone through a friend? Share with us in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Flickr, Nathan Congleton