Mobile

New OKCupid app matches users based on ‘words and wits,’ not body parts

Free tonight and feeling courageous enough for a blind date? Launching today, an app called “Crazy Blind Date” matches you with a mysterious stranger.

Before agreeing to meet, all you’ll see is a shattered profile picture, age, first name, and a suggested venue. It’s a means to avoid that awkward back-and-forth chat that goes on between potential matches on sites like Match.com.

The free app for Android and iPhone is the brainchild of OkCupid, an online dating site that is popular with young people (and especially professionals). To celebrate the blind dating app’s release, the team removed all of the photos from its website so that members logging into OkCupid “will have to make their dating decisions based on words and wits rather than abs and, well, other body parts,” the company said in a statement.

IMG_5689This isn’t new ground for OKCupid; it attempted to launch a blind dating service in 2007, but it was a complete bomb. Members weren’t comfortable meeting a complete stranger from the Internet without being able to peruse their profile first.

But the matchmaking service is giving it another shot; CEO Sam Yagan told the New York Times that this might be a remedy for users who are too bogged down by all the profiles they see on OKCupid.

Does Yagan have a point? Are we dead-set on rippling abs, a flashy car, and a six-figure salary? Would a blind date help us avoid those sleazeball charmers? The idea of meeting a complete stranger from the Internet, let alone a smartphone app, fills me with fear, but there’s not much I won’t do for the sake of a story.

It was easy to get started. If you’re an OkCupid user, the app will import your existing information, and use it to find your perfect match. I signed up for a new account, snapped an image, and inputted some basic biographical information. Within a few hours, I received an offer to meet a nice-enough-looking man in his 30s called Stephen (I could detect brown hair and glasses from his scrambled profile pic) at a local restaurant.

You can also browse suggested dates — I was astonished by the sheer number of Bay Area males that consider Peet’s Coffee to be their dream date venue. Let’s step up the originality and romance people, please.

So, single readers, would you give Crazy Blind Date a shot? Or would you prefer to see a full profile before agreeing to meet in person?

Awkward blind date image // Shutterstock


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