Mixers Brings Virtual Speed Dating To Facebook

By Justin Lafferty 

When meeting new people, it generally only takes a couple of minutes to form the all-important first impression. That’s the idea behind Mixers, a Facebook dating application that gives webcam-connected users two minutes to chat. If there’s a connection, users can request more time. If not, better luck next time. The app has gained a following in Israel, but now the minds behind Mixers have added the U.S. to its user base.

Mixers CEO Maayan Kimhi got the idea from her own time using dating websites. She also used Facebook and webcam technology to chat up and meet potential roommates. She found out that it usually took about two minutes for her to determine if she wanted to get to know the person. This got the wheels spinning in her head about some kind of dating service, performed through Facebook, to make sure that the people who participate are authentic.

The app, which was developed on the Facebook platform, takes basic information from a user’s profile, such as first name, photo, age, and location. Other details can be filled in later. Users can view other users, and, if they are interested, start a video chat. The initial contact lasts a maximum of two minutes, although both parties can agree to extend this by discussing a way to talk offline if there’s a connection.

Mixers also scans Facebook profiles for mutual interests and other shared experiences, such as education. Kimhi told AllFacebook that the next step is deeper Facebook integration, where users can agree to add the chat partner on Facebook after the initial meeting if they feel they would be compatible. As time goes on, the Mixers algorithm begins to learn what users are looking for and offer better matches.

Mixers was launched in Kimhi’s home country of Israel as a test, shortly after the conclusion of the Olympic Games. Kimhi told AllFacebook that Mixers already has 1,300 users — and growing. She’s hoping that the app can tap into the online dating market in America, which is quite vast. Mixers cites statistics showing that one in three online American users seek romance, and the domestic online dating market is roughly 40 million. The company expects the online video dating market to reach 35 percent of the entire industry, or roughly 14 million American users.

Mixers officially announced itself to the American public at the recent TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco. At that event, Mixers reps met with potential investors, as well as users.

Kimhi said that since the app has launched, they’ve noticed that the demographics of Mixers tend to differ from the typical applicant pool on dating sites. On Mixers, it’s more people in their 30s who are putting serious effort into their search for a romantic partner.

Kimhi explained the motivation behind Mixers to AllFacebook:

When you meet somebody in person, you can see the way he talks and the way he reacts to your jokes, there’s the element of chemistry there. You can feel if you like him or not, or if there’s a future for this or not … A lot of psychologists do believe that those two minutes or 45 seconds or 30 seconds or seven minutes are really important … If you have a first impression of someone and you think that they are a good match, usually you really are.

Mixers also has the similarly named Mixers feature, which allows several people in a group video chat. Kimhi said that the company is looking into partnering with private companies that may want to use this technology in a non-dating context.

Readers: Would you want to use a dating app on Facebook?