Ever wanted to insert yourself into the love lives of your Facebook friends?
There's a new app that will let you do just that. Matchmaker, which launches today, is the newest product from Hinge. It's designed to let you pair up your friends who are already on the dating app. This is both a great tool for
nosy helpful friends everywhere and a dystopian nightmare scenario for those who really want to keep their private life, well, private.
Matchmaker, which is now available in beta for iOS, is a completely standalone app, and you don’t need to be a Hinge user to sign on. Once you’ve set it up, it lets you see your Facebook friends that are currently looking for love on Hinge. Eek.
There are a variety of ways you can use the app to set your pals up. It can generate pairings, or you can select one friend you want to find potential mates for. If you already have a couple in mind, you can also suggest they connect. You can also invite your friends to join Hinge if you want to start matchmaking for them.
You initiate the match and can even send an icebreaker message to get the convo going. The rest is up to them.
This is not the first app to let you meddle in your friend’s love lives. Wingman, which launched earlier this year, is based on a similar premise. But that requires you sign your friends up for the app, instead of relying on an existing database of users like Hinge has. They also have final approval over the profiles you create for them.
While something like Matchmaker does seem like a more efficient system, it raises some pretty serious privacy concerns. For one thing, this is an opt-out system, requiring Hinge users to actively say they’d rather not have their profile visible to anyone they happen to be connected to on Facebook.
To be clear, you can't see people's full profiles — just a single photo, their age, job, and location. You can also only see users who've been active on Hinge in the last 60 days. As the company explained in a statement,
"The reality is, people aren’t ashamed to admit they use dating apps in this day and age, they aren’t hesitant to talk to their friends about it or even let their friends take control of their app at times."
Since Hinge is a service that already relies on your social networks, the company maintains that their users "are comfortable being on the platform and understand that their Facebook friends could learn that they're on Hinge."
That may be true on one level. At this late date, most of us aren’t squeamish about showing our dating profiles to people in our inner circle.
But think about how many randos you’re FB friends with. Would you really want all your business acquaintances and former babysitters and — god forbid — exes to have even the vaguest peek into your romantic life?
Privacy concerns aside, this really isn't any more awkward than the more old-fashioned ways of setting people up — like emailing them both. Or worse yet, inviting them both to the same party and awkwardly trying to make it seem like it's not a setup.
Have fun letting your Facebook friends set you up!