Innovation That Matters

App matches up singles based on their online activity

Work & Lifestyle

If literary and musical tastes can be used as the basis for matchmaking, then why not a person’s overall social networking activity? That, indeed, is precisely the premise behind StreetSpark, a mobile app that connects singles based on the likes and interests they exhibit through sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users of UK-based StreetSpark begin by creating a profile and telling the app about the types of people they’d like to meet. From there, it uses a process it calls “social matching” to analyze users’ activity on social networks like Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter and look for others nearby whose likes and interests are similar. When a potential match is found, StreetSpark introduces the users in question by sending them each a “spark” message on their mobile phone, including a photo and description. Users can either “ignite” that spark and start chatting in real time, or they can “extinguish” and ignore it. Once extinguished, a potential match won’t be shown again. For privacy, StreetSpark also doesn’t let users see the photos or even basic information of other members unless they’ve been matched together. The site can be used for platonic matchmaking as well, StreetSpark notes. Now available for free for both iPhone and Android, StreetSpark will ultimately adopt a freemium model, it says. It’s also considering a points-based system for non-premium users, whereby the points necessary for certain activities on the site can be bought or earned by active usage on StreetSpark; points will provide discounts at affiliate venues as well. Meanwhile, StreetSpark also aims to expand beyond the UK. One to partner with toward any or all of those many goals? (Related: Supermarket creates dating site based on users’ shopping habitsCupid-friendly site helps aspiring matchmakers pair up their friendsMatchmaking site for platonic friendships.) Spotted by: Kat Karimi



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