By Khurram Aziz email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 16, 2013 10:20 PM EST
OkCupid has launched a new app which hooks people up on instant blind dates.
The app, Crazy Blind Date, lets you pick a time and place you'd like to go on a date, and then it comes up with a selection of four people. The twist is, however, that their images are obscured.
The app, which is free and available for both iOS and Android, seeks to cut through the lengthy back-and-forth messaging and coordinating that comes with arranging a first meeting on a dating site.
"People will say that Crazy Blind Date is too crazy," said Sam Yagan, Co-Founder of OkCupid in a press release. "But for a whole generation of young singles, it's going to be a great adventure, and a great complement to traditional online dating."
The app runs on a computer algorithm, which takes what it knows about you from your track record on the site and, if you have one, your OkCupid profile, and offers you a limited number of dates to choose from based on that. Once the two parties agree on a person to go on a blind date with, the app opens up an instant messenger so that daters can easily find each other.
The apps monetization strategy kicks in after after the date ends, when Crazy Blind Date prompts users to give feedback on the date. If the daters had a good time, they are offered the opportunity to give their date's 'Kudos' which can cost either $0.99 if you kind of liked them, or $2.99 if you really liked them.
The more points someone collects from the people they've gone on dates with in the past, the higher priority they have in being assigned to future dates.
One blogger, Devin Coldewey on NBC, thinks this is the major flaw in the system.
"There are two problems here. First, if the date went well and you want to go on another one, it seems like you'd want to rate your date poorly so that they don't end up on other dates. Yes, it's dishonest, but all's fair in love and war," said Coldewey. "Second, kudos cost money. In other words, you have to pay to give your date a good review - so they can go on more dates with other people!"
To celebrate the launch of Crazy Blind Date, OkCupid temporarily blocked everyone's photos on the site; forcing members logging into OkCupid "to make their dating decisions based on words and wits rather than abs and, well, other body parts."
The site has also invited users to share their Crazy Blind Date stories via Twitter using the hashtag, #CrazyBlindDate.
You can download the app from Google Play here.