"Online Dating Should Suck Less"
San Francisco-based coder Justin Krause thinks so, and has joined the growing ranks of dating start-ups which use their tech-savvy expertise and personal perspective to create their own vision of how today's dating sites should work.
Circl.es, launched in February 2012, isn't alone in the trend of using social media to personalize and fine-tune dating connections, but what makes it unique is that it allows you to utilize your local Facebook community as a way to look for dating matches in your immediate geographical area. And then YOU decide who you are attracted to and interested in, not some mysterious algorithm in Oz-land.
Wait a minute! My Facebook??
Founder Justin Krause says he recognizes that people initially mistrust the idea of bringing Facebook into the dating equation, but found that using it solves a few big problems with online dating: Verifying your true identity, showing real-life pictures of you doing your real-life activities, and filtering out people already in your social circle.
Think about it-- before hooking up with an online date, you are completely dependent on the image that this person has created. While there's safety in your own anonymity, the flip-side is that you can't confirm that this person is who they say they are. As soon as we get a clue about who they are, we try to Google them anyway!
Does this sound familiar?
"Lets see.. this guy Jason that I've been talking to on OkCupid says that he's a 6th grade technology teacher in this area. .how about i just try to google 'Jason..technology teacher...Putnam County', or see if I can get any clues using LinkedIn..or maybe I'll go to some school websites."
We all want to know as soon as possible-- is this person who they say they are? By utilizing people's real Facebook page, your potential match is authenticating themselves.
The best part is that Circl.es doesn't leave a trace on your Facebook page. No one will know, unless you choose to share it.
This Is How It Works
"Welcome to the Simplest Dating Site Ever” is the greeting on Circl.es home page. And it's true. The enrollment process couldn't be easier or less time consuming.
- Register on the "What I'm looking For" page, checking off your basics, i.e Age, Height, Body Type, Education, Religion, Politics, and a small Blurb about yourself. Enter mileage criteria for searching, and then check off some boxes of criteria for "Them".
- Choose 3 pics of yourself from your FB or or hard drive for your profile page.
- Get directed to your profile page, where you can adjust things, or simply "Browse People".
Browsing your local Circ.le of real-life people
- "Browsing people" takes you directly to the person's Circl.es page, with their Facebook "like" icons and three of their FB pictures visible.
- Check out the local people who matched your parameters, noting their "likes", thus giving you insight as to their history of interests. (You do have the choice to delete any of your own "likes" in case you decide you're embarrassed by liking that live-cam of Shibu puppies).
Click on the following button to make your choice:
If you click “yes,” both users are notified through emails, and if you click no, you won’t see that snapshot again in your searches, and that person never sees your profile. Only the people you’re interested in get to view your profile. If they select you as well, and there is a match, you can send them a message on FB. When you’ve browsed all the profiles, you'll see a “You’ve Seen It All Page". Circl.es gives you two weeks to meet up with an interest before the match expires, which is plenty of time to start a conversation, says Krause.
Dating Gurus Grade: A-
- Simple, easy interface with high "fun" factor
- Efficient through use of existing Facebook profile, with matches expiring within 2 weeks with NO follow up reminders, endless spam.
- Private (you set privacy parameters on your Facebook) and no intrusion onto your page from Circl.es
- The Gender-queer option in addition to Male or Female identity
- Visibility of "mutual friends" assures legitimacy
- Potential skittishness to allow access to your Facebook info. *Hint: Make sure you go into your FB privacy controls (Circl.es has simple instructions to assist)
- Pool of available matches is low, but growing, due to the brand new-ness of the biz, and by the press they've been receiving. But we like this approach: