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The site promises to make online dating less isolating and creepy
The dating scene can be traumatic, but the online dating scene can be even more traumatic, especially when you’re the friend or sibling of someone who’s constantly introducing you to the next Mr. or Mrs. Right that they met online.
DateBuzz launches today to offer a new approach to the isolating and sometimes soul-crushing experience of online dating. In a recent poll conducted by Triangulate, the founder of DateBuzz, 65% of respondents said that they were “unsatisfied” or “very unsatisfied” with their past online dating experiences, with 84% of those citing lack of support and unqualified matches as the causes for their unhappiness with the service.
DateBuzz is marketing itself as more than a dating service, but a dating community. Users can check out profiles and provide feedback on strong-points in the description or areas that need more work, such as interests or ideal dates. And users are not restricted to only seeing profiles of those they might be romantically interested in, but can see profiles of other people in their dating demographic to offer support and feedback. For example, while I might be a single 20-something woman in the market for a single 20-something man, I can go check out other girls’ profiles and offer support or useful tips, like voting for pictures that are more flattering to them.
The site, founded by Triangulate, launched in beta mode in July and has since garnered some 50,000 users, and according to Triangulate co-founder and CEO Sunil Nagaraj, the male-to-female ratio is getting close to 50/50.
Many online dating sites have a pretty lopsided gender ratio, with men often outnumbering women two-to-one. That lopsidedness is made even worse by the fact that “5% of the women will get bombarded with messages from interested men while the remaining 95% don’t hear anything,” said Nagaraj in a phone interview. The case is pretty sad for men as well, who will often send dozens of messages to female users and not hear anything in return.
To make the site more appealing to women, DateBuzz is setting up the DateBuzz Blog Project, which will spotlight the dating lives of three women from San Francisco as they meet men on the website.
So how exactly does it work? Nagaraj describes the service as a “dating site powered by votes.” What that means is you get more results on compatibility by putting more information in. By browsing the profiles and voting for responses to questions like favorite book, movie, or TV show, the site’s algorithm will show you other profiles with similar responses.
“The widely-accepted model for online dating leaves users feeling isolated and insecure by disregarding the fact that thousands of others are going through the same process at the same time,” said Nagaraj, in a prepared statement. “We saw an incredible opportunity here to leverage the community-base to make the experience more interactive.”
Setting up a profile on the site is actually pretty fun. It’s like playing Love Connection by yourself. When setting up your profile, you’re asked questions like: “If I had to choose between a day locked inside or outside of my home, I would…” and “If I ever won the lottery, I would…”
Triangulate has previously raised $750,000 from Trinity Ventures and Playdom founder Rick Thompson. The company has plans to raise additional funds in the spring.
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