▲ ▼ Decentralized dating platform
Current dating platforms in-spite of collecting large amounts of data on its individuals, fails to provide optimum results as I think its algorithms are tuned for In-App purchases rather than perfect match.
What I would like to have is an app on smartphone which doesn't connect to a central server but connects to other smartphones with the app. I would load all my dating preferences, down to the minutest detail without fear of judgement or prejudice in the app and when the app notices similar preferences in another smartphone it'll notify me.
So, in a party, in an event, social gathering, community service I can meet interesting people without even having to start a conversion albeit not having to compromise on my privacy.
Hence, there is a need gap for such decentralized dating platforms.
Well articulated need gap. I have previous experience in building privacy focussed dating platform which gained decent traction but had to shutdown for reasons unrelated to the product itself.
Dating platforms get away with privacy abuse as they project user's intimate private data as the foundation for their matching algorithms, which is true but doesn't give a free chit to the platform owner to use the data for other purposes.
Decentralized platform by definition is against commercial interests as they are not scalable so it is always out of favour from data hoarding corporations. But as you've mentioned a decentralized platform is definitely one of the solutions to privacy proof dating platform.
Peer-to-Peer matching without a central service on smartphones are currently limited by the communication technologies, mainly due to the security implications. There has been attempt to create P2P protocols like AllJoyn which can avoid friction like pairing requests (Bluetooth) but hasn't see huge commercial interests due to fragmentation in smartphone ecosystem.
A city based decentralized dating platform which uses proven decentralized protocols like Matrix protocol could be the best bet for this solution. Let's hear from others.
Thanks for the information about the tech. I agree that a city level decentralized dating platform startup would solve this issue. Let's see what others have to say about it.
I had an idea close to this when the new covid contact tracing tech was announced. However with it being P2P there are a few issues coming to mind:
- How to ensure privacy from man in the middle attacks? If your phone has to send data to other phones for them both to agree that there is a match, one would be able to abuse this to gather information on nearby people. I'm not well enough versed in cryptography to know if there is any solution like that for this.
- How do you make money from it? If you're building it purely for its own sake sure, but if you're trying to be a startup, then privacy side is not a killer feature for enough people to use it to make a dent but it is a massive engineering sink.
There was P2P chat application called FireChat - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FireChat which used end-to-end encryption and so I think man in the middle attacks shouldn't be a problem. Considering decentralized platforms like Matrix, Mastodon are well established now , building a decentralized dating platform on top of those might be the rational choice.
You're right about the monetization, But I think the need for privacy has gained enough momentum now to sustain the business if it is able to deliver what people want.