Innovation That Matters

Online speed dates as real reality television

Work & Lifestyle

Earlier this year, we covered WooMe, an initiative that attempted to move online dating away from written profiles and communication, instead offering instant speed dates conducted via webcam. As of September 2008, the San Francisco-based company has upped its game, by inviting the world to watch. Billing itself as ‘real reality TV’, anyone brave enough to share their flirting with the world can do so, leading to thousands of hours of unedited video clips being uploaded every week for the pleasure of WooMe TV viewers. Pricing is geared to the site’s worldwide target market of 18-24 year-olds: online chat is free, with users paying USD1/GBP1/EUR1 to swap contact details if they both sense a match. Video clips are also free to watch, financed by ads that play while videos load and while daters’ scores are calculated at the end of each clip. According to an AFP newswire, testing has shown that practically 100% of users watch the videos and ads to the very end. With other sites such as SideTaker and popping up recently, it seems social voyeurism is being taken to a whole new level. Which begs the question: which social activities previously kept private can now be turned into business opportunities? Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen



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