Last week, I saw this story that claimed Kayak.com was going to let users aggregate online dating search results. I TOTALLY thought it was for real! (Only this blog’s “April Fools’ News” tag made me realize it was a gag.) Now I’m kinda bummed, because it actually makes perfect sense to do this; they already offer a great service letting users compare travel options across a broad range of sites, and this is a pretty logical leap for that same type of cross-site searching. I guarantee you some daters would be into it.
But I do kinda worry about information overload, you know? Some people freeze up in the face of too many options. And I kind of wonder how many niche sites they would let you search in this fictional tangent! In the graphic below, most of the “main” sites are covered in that right sidebar. (I love seeing that Craigslist is still being used too, ha! Dream on, Kayak; even I have to admit that Craiglists’s personals heyday is over.)
But perhaps it’s for the best that this was a big joke. On the one hand, I’m pro better tech and algorithms in online dating. On the other hand, the whole premise of reducing romantic options to metadata can be dangerous. If this gag feature ever made it to real life, it should be used in conjunction with more casual searches from individual sites. After all, the vibe from Match and OKcupid is quite different, and sometimes it’s better to dabble than to deep dive. Still, I like seeing innovation in this space—go on, Kayak! Make your joke a reality!