Huffington Post alumni Rob Fishman and Jeff Revesz launched a matchmaking app for Facebook this week designed to help you meet your friends' single friends. The app's feature set is rather limited, but compared to the other Facebook dating apps I've seen, Yoke shows the most promise.
Signing up is simple. Unlike most dating sites, you don't need to set up a profile. Simply select five photos from your profile album you want to share. The rest of your info i.e., your age, education, hometown, friend network, likes and interests are automatically pulled from the data you've shared with Facebook. Yoke will then begin matching you with people with compatible profile data.
The app doesn't just set you up with direct matches i.e. people who went to the same school, or with whom you share the greatest number of likes and friends in common. Rather, it leverages its own and third-party APIs that help find people with similar tastes. So if you list Mozart and Beethoven as likes on your profile, and someone else lists Schubert, the app will still know that you're a potential match because you have a common interest in classical music. Yoke is also more likely to set you up with people with whom you share more obscure interests, like a little-known band or a favorite bookstore, and with people who are friends with the people you're close to (i.e., with whom you share lots of friends).
Exploring matches is similar to using OkCupid's Quickmatch feature. Thumbnails of potential matches appear on a rotating carousel at the top of the app. Each profile displays up to five photos and the interests you have in common. Beneath the profiles appear all of the friends you have in common. Click on their names and you can send them a quick message to ask about the person you've been matched up with. If you like someone, select "yoke" to let him or her know, or privately save someone to your favorites. If not, click "next."
Yoke isn't just for singles. When you sign up, you have the option to identify yourself as either "single" or "in a relationship." If you're in the latter camp, you can still use Yoke to meet people with similar interests, or use it to set up your friends with each other.
As I mentioned previously, Yoke's featureset is limited but expanding. Fishman tells me that he and his team want to take better advantage of Facebook's Open Graph to show potential matches that they both listened to the same Spotify song the day previously, or read the same article on The Washington Post that morning. The team also wants to connect to additional services, including Twitter, Foursquare, perhaps even Goodreads, to match people by the people they follow, the places they go and the things they read.
Beyond improved matchmaking functionality, better profile customization is also in the works. Soon, users will be able to fill out a box with more information about who they are and what they're looking for. A mobile-friendly site and iPhone app are also on the horizon. Personally, I'd like to see better exploration features search would be a nice addition, as would the ability to filter by criteria such as height.
Yoke is the first in what is likely to be of a series of Facebook apps from Fishman and Revesz's new company, Kingfish Labs. The New York-based startup raised $500,000 in seed funding from Lerer Ventures and Softbank Capital in August, and plans to raise another round "sooner or later," Fishman tells me.