There are moments in life when you realise that you just met someone who has exactly the same tastes as yourself. About a decade ago, if you see someone in a coffee shop or on the bus reading a book which is in your top 10 list, you could approach them and kick-start a conversation and probably a new friendship! Today, you see people constantly looking at their Smartphone screens, instead of books, and it’s very hard to tell if they are scrolling through Facebook, BuzzFeed or reading the eBook version of your favourite book. You’re one Smartphone away from making a new friend.
But little did you know that the same Smartphone can help you find people who share your interests. Every day we like, retweet, pin and post about the things that interest us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram respectively. What if a bunch of supercomputers and servers run a few algorithms on these data and introduce you to someone who is a lot like you and lives only a couple of miles away? Wouldn’t that be great?
Here are some apps that do this: (The descriptions were taken from the official app pages.)
1. Canoodle — where people meet and share their interests! By Cupid plc
Canoodle is a new type of social dating service that helps you meet up and connect with new people, make friends and find matches based on a shared interest in your favourite topics, activities and places.
One is a mobile app that uses common interests to help you meet awesome people. One helps you collect all the interests you love, and even helps you discover new things you might like. One uses these interests to connect you to people right next to you, and displays the things you have in common.
If you’ve moved to a new city and want to make new friends, you just need to download and start using these apps. You don’t even need to enter your likes and dislikes. It will use data from your social networking history and match it to other users who have similar interests.
This is how it works. If you are a big fan of A. R. Rahman and there is a live concert in town, you can meet people on the app who are also huge fans but do not have somebody to accompany them. This can hold true for a lot of things, trying out a new cuisine at a new restaurant, watching India vs. Pakistan on February 15th at a Sports Bar near you, attending a stand-up comedy by Russell Peters and much more.
You might argue that online dating sites do the same thing. Here’s how these apps are different from online dating sites.
The data is taken from a person’s social networking sites unlike the data collected by asking questions which is primarily what dating sites do. Users may not portray their complete true self on a form that dating sites require them to fill but they wouldn’t tweet or post material they don’t reflect with.
Online dating sites can only ask a certain number of questions about a person’s past but applications using Big Data can scout through your entire Facebook history. User’s relationships trends can also be analysed through Facebook relationship status.
In the online dating sites, you can provide answers to their questions once and your profile remains the same. By using social networking history, the algorithm can be run on new data each time you add a new interest or hobby to your profiles making it easier for you to meet people who are compatible with the things you are currently passionate about.
Poets and authors for centuries have romanticised the idea of meeting soul mates and best friends forever. Movies tend to impress upon us that meeting new people is so easy when in reality no one even looks up from their Smartphones while riding the subway. But Big Data can help you find true love too. Just like Jason Liszka did.