Dating Site of the Week: Gelato
The folks at Gelato have come up with a new twist on dating sites. Instead of the usual detailed profile (“I like walks on the beach and I want 2.5 kids”) which you can pretty much make up, with Gelato you import your social media streams. This way, you almost have no choice but to present your authentic self (unless you’re a pathological liar on Twitter). You can share your Facebook status updates, tweets and photos, plus your music, TV and movies preferences.
To start, you sign in with Twitter or Facebook, with the option to make your updates public. This is all that is required at minimum. However, to increase your “scoop rating,” you can add more information. You can fill out your profile by importing photos from Flickr or Facebook; showing your favorite movies and TV shows by connecting with your Netflix or Hulu account; sharing your favorite music with Pandora or Last.fm; and you can also import feeds from Seesmic and Amazon.
On par with traditional sites, you can edit your profile with relationship status, the type of relationship you’re looking for, gender preference, ethnicity, religion, politics and if you’re a smoker. Plus, you can fill out an About Me section.
When searching for someone, you can filter by gender, age, zip code, keywords, the type of relationship they’re looking for, and basic categories like religion, ethnicity, etc. When you visit someone’s profile, you see keywords they’ve recently mentioned, their imported photos, and you can view their lifestream (e.g. tweets, Facebook status updates, the last movie they added to their Netflix queue.) To contact them, you can send an icebreaker. If you can find them on Twitter or Facebook, then you can contact them directly on those networks. (Gelato does not link out to anyone’s profile pages on other social networks.)
The upside of Gelato is that (1) you get to see more of the “real” person, because – if they have a high scoop rating – you’re getting a peek into their daily life and entertainment preferences; and (2) their stream is always updating, so you have motivation to visit their profile frequently (in case you haven’t already reached out to them on other networks).
As always, you can’t really tell if you’re compatible with someone until you meet in person, but if you can already tell that they’re funny (from their tweets) and that you both like sci fi and Lady Gaga, then you’re guaranteed to have something to chat about.
In addition, Gelato seems to be a good service for just finding friends. For example, if you’re straight, there seems to be no reason you can’t search for people of the same gender in your area using a few keywords. If you both have the same interests, you can just contact them via Facebook and they don’t even have to know you found them on Gelato!
Oh… did I mention it’s free?
This article has been corrected since its original version.