What do you call a social networking site that includes biographical information, pictures, an indication of your gender, relationship status, and an indication of who you are looking for? This is Google+, but it’s also strikingly similar to the formula for a dating profile on Match.com or eHarmony. Instead of an exuberant $30/month sign-up fee, Google+ profiles are free and seemingly easy to browse without complicated algorithms limiting us to who we might find in search.
This realization made me wonder, as one of the 15% of women using Google+ — could Google+ be used, someday, as a dating service? Though this brings back nightmares of MySpace and the creeps who trolled for underage girls on that network (and gave rise to one of my favorite series on Dateline NBC), Google+ could actually work as a dating network given the construct of both profiles and Google’s inherent search algorithms. To test this theory, and see if it is possible to get a date on Google+, I set out to see if I, myself, could get a date on Google+.
I shared the following post publicly on Google+, announcing my availability. No games, no tricks. I just said I wanted to go on a date with someone, via Google+. (And yes, that is a Google Voice number, set up specifically for this purpose.):
The result? I’ve received over 20 voicemails asking me on a date. Some were hilarious:
Some were serious:
And others were a little weird:
Oh, and there was lots of banjo music:
With these voicemails — and several more that were sincere and serious, I am convinced that yes, it is possible to get a date on Google+. It may be easier for the 15% of women on Google+, since we have more options and can vet our prospects. (The men on Google+ can’t be so picky with the demographic proportions as they are, unfortunately.) If you want to get a date on Google+, set up a profile with appropriate biographical information, make sure your gender and “Looking For” fields are visible and appropriate (so you can be found via search), and set up a Google Voice number and include it in the Information section of your About page with an announcement that you are, in fact, looking for a date. You could even include “requirements” here, if you are so picky.
What do you think about using Google+ as a dating service? Would you ever go on a date with someone you met on Google+? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.