Admit it: On a lonely Saturday night you have found yourself perusing your Facebook friends' connections in search of a companion. With over 901 million users it's only natural to think you could find "the one" on Facebook. Now there is Yoke, a social dating app for Facebook that makes it even easier to meet the single friends of your friends.
How Does Yoke Work?The app looks at your friends and searches their connections for single friends. Next, it makes suggestions for possible matches based on your Facebook activity and theirs. According to the company's Crunchbase profile, Yoke references your "Facebook Likes and listening activity against data from Amazon, Netflix, Echnonest, and its own proprietary Facebook Page and college graphs." An example of a potentially good match would be if you like the Hunger Games movie and the other person likes the Hunger Games book.
How to Get StartedWhen you sign up for Yoke it will ask for access to information in your Facebook profile. This information is necessary for Yoke to successfully find compatible matches for you.
Next you will indicate if you are single or in a relationship, confirm some basic information about yourself and select your minimum search criteria. Yoke keeps the search options simple; just the age and sex based on your location.
You can then choose five photos from your profile or upload new images. Only people using Yoke can see these images. Click on "Get Started" and matches will immediately appear.
Once you see someone you like, you can send him or her a message. If they are interested, they will respond. If they don't respond, the message was anonymous so they won't know that it was you.
If you are a little shy and not quite ready to contact someone you can save matches you like to contact at another time.
If you need a little help from your friends to make a move, you can send them a Facebook message to ask for an introduction or to get a little background information on your potential match.
What I Liked About Yoke
- It's free
The saying is that "love doesn't cost a thing," so why should you have to pay for dating sites, matchmaking apps or matchmakers?
- Simple, easy interface
With most dating sites and apps you have to create a new profile for each one you sign up for. But Yoke uses the information in your Facebook profile to create your profile. It took me about two minutes to get set up.
- Matches don't also have to be Yoke users
You are not limited to just the users who have also signed up for Yoke. As long as a person has a Facebook profile they have the potential to be recommended to you as a match.
- Matches based on shared interests determined by Facebook activity
You naturally share a lot of information about what you like to do, where you like to go, what music you listen too, books you're reading, movies you have watched and more. So it makes sense to use that information to find a companion.
- Friendly introductions
You can introduce yourself or have a mutual friend make the introduction. Now you don't have to Google a friend of a friend because your Facebook friend will give you the 411.
- Play matchmaker
If you aren't seeking, you might be able to hook up some of your single friends. Playing Cupid can be dangerous. If the match works out, you will make two people very happy. But if the match doesn't work out, you might not be able to live it down.
- Matches immediately
Based on the minimum search criteria I immediately got 12 matches. They were all friends of my Facebook friends. Yoke tells you which friends you have in common and a few reasons why you might be compatible.
- Privacy protected
It can be embarrassing to admit that you are searching Facebook for love. But your Yoke activity does not appear on your profile. So it doesn't have to be obvious to everyone that you are seriously seeking on Facebook.
What Could Make Yoke Better?
- Technical difficulties
I expect new apps to be a little bit buggy. So when it came time to choose five photos, I wasn't able to drag and drop. It also gave a limited selection of my profile options. (I have 66 photos that I would like the option to choose from.)
- You don't have to be single to use Yoke
My status clearly states that I am in a relationship, yet I was able to sign up for Yoke and say I was single. This loophole might work for someone that is in a relationship but is looking to get out of the relationship. We all know people that won't breakup with someone until they have the next mate lined up.
But I think as a fail safe the app should check new users status before allowing them to sign up. Or ask if they are using Yoke to be a matchmaker. There should be something that clearly indicates your intention for using Yoke.
- Still feel like a stalker
The Yoke app, in a slight way, legitimizes Facebook stalking in the pursuit of love. If the potential match you are contacting does not also use Yoke, it can be a little freaky to get an anonymous message that someone is interested in you. I would also feel a little awkward asking a friend on Facebook to introduce me to someone I noticed was his or her friend. Since the goal is to turn a digital match in to real world compatibility, I think a less creepy approach would be to ask the mutual friend to invite you both out for drinks. No need to divulge that Yoke was behind your desire to meet the other person.