Crazy Blind Date, available for iPhone and Android, is all about immediacy, especially for those who find the endless back-and-forth messages typical of online dating to be a buzzkill. It’s a standalone app that works with preexisting OkCupid profiles, but daters don’t need an account to get started. You simply select when you’re available, pick your favorite spot, and boom, the app pairs you up. Don’t worry: Instant messaging between users becomes possible an hour before the date starts, so you don’t have to awkwardly stand by the entrance guessing your date’s identity.
“What we really wanted, even when we first started OkCupid, was the ability for you to come in and say, ‘Give me a date,’ and deliver that promise,” co-founder Sam Yagan tells TIME. Now that users primarily access OkCupid through mobile devices — the site saw mobile usage increase 20-fold in the past year — Yagan says it’s the perfect time to release the app.
The app uses the same algorithms that power the website’s matching system. It’s no secret that OkCupid is big on data: Its insightful OkTrends blog whips up hilarious infographics about its users, such as whether college students who pay higher tuition want to have more sex (they do), or whether people who tweet every day have shorter-lasting relationships (also the case).
“We’re a bunch of math majors that started an online dating site,” Yagan says. “We’ve always thought, in terms of recommending dates, that an algorithm-based computer could do a better job.”
Unlike OkCupid, Crazy Blind Date allows users to give feedback about their dates. After the night is over, you have the option to purchase “kudos” to improve your date’s next crazy experience. Buying kudos costs three dollars, and the more kudos your date has, the higher priority he or she will be when getting matched with future dates. But the few bucks spent aren’t totally altruistic. Crazy Blind Date will analyze the type of people you connect with and integrate the info into future matches, so paying to give feedback doesn’t just boost the quality of your date’s love life — it also helps yours.
That means OkCupid might be the only online-dating service that defines a successful date as one that leads you to better dates with other people. No happily-ever-after here, folks — at least not anytime soon.
“Ultimately, it’s a numbers game,” Yagan says. “You have to go on a volume of dates. The probability that any one date is the person you end up having a relationship with is unlikely. If you commit to going on one Crazy Blind Date a week for a year, you’re going to have 52 really interesting experiences.”
Somewhere out there, someone has already started a blog to chronicle exactly that.