As much as we’d all like to think we’re not superficial, we are. Care to disagree? Don’t bother, because I highly doubt any of you can tell me that when you lock eyes with someone across a dimly lit dive bar, you’re really trying to look deep into his or her soul. No, you’re trying to see how deep you can get into his or her pants — or, are at least calculating the chances that they’ll slip you some digits.
Physical attraction beats out personality every time. At least initially. And it’s that idea that fueled firstsighter, the newest online dating site that’s pairing people off based on looks alone.
Northeastern student Tony Ciampa, firstsighter’s community manager and head of marketing, says he has a lot of friends in their twenties who’ve stressed one crucial flaw in online dating: It doesn’t reflect the way people meet offline. The problem is, not all 20-somethings want to be associated with an Internet dating site. If that dating site looks more like a social network, however, there’s no need to minimize it when friends are approaching in the library or dining hall.
The premise is simple. You visit the site, create a username, enter in your age and zip code and upload two profile photos. From there, you rate yourself on a scale from one to 10. Why? Because you need a way to interact from the get-go. The beauty of firstsighter is, you can only see people that fall within your ranking. Meaning, if you’re a six, you can’t see anyone who’s been ranked outside of the five to seven range. The rank you gave yourself changes as others start to rate you, but the additional bonus? You have no idea you’re a six, three, eight or 10.
At first, Ciampa says they didn’t hide the ranks, but that tested pretty poorly. (I can see the girls scooping pints of Ben & Jerry’s into their mouths now.) So, they changed things up, and while I have an inkling that people might be able to guess over time what they’re ranking is, Ciampa admits he doesn’t have a problem with that. “People can get realistic with themselves,” he says, later reminding me, “when you’re going on more dates, you won’t care about the ranking.”
One hundred accounts — 50 males and 50 females — are registered on the site right now. And while you can’t start browsing those accounts just yet, you can register and potentially score some free cash. The 100th and 150th person to register will receive $100. The 200th user will receive $200 and the 500th, $600. “We don’t ever want people to have less than 30 matches,” Ciampa says, referring to why they’ll be officially going live in two or so weeks as opposed to today.
And while firstsighter is only available to Boston residents, once the team receives 250 sign-ups for each gender, they will tack on additional cities. Each user from that city will then be granted a one-month free trial of firstsighter. After that, the price goes to $5 a month, which isn’t a bad deal considering the convenience. The advertising is also beneficial, because each company who’s posting, will also be submitting date ideas with their advertisements.
“The main benefit dating-wise, we make first interactions a hell of a lot easier,” Ciampa says. “Everyone you’re seeing you’re attracted to.”
We’re on board with that. At the bar, beer goggles muddy our vision. Who knew this whole time we were fraternizing with people not in our league? Now we can get our mack on properly, and let the lust do the talking. For more information on firstsighter, check out the team’s promo video below.