News article

Date: 21. April 2016

LOL April Fools!:
Burrito-Lovers' Dating App Exposes 'Myth'

We can all agree that the only good thing about branded April Fools’ pranks is that they don’t last long, namely only 24 hours. Press releases are sent out: people mock the jokes and it’s all over within a day.

This year, however, there is one prank that has remained present: almost four weeks after the whole hullaballoo. Burrit-oh! -a dating site that matches singles on the basis of what they like in a burrito- proved to be so unexpectedly successful that the app’s creator, Zoosk, has considered keeping it.

"We all thought this was a really good idea and hoped it would take off," announced Megan Murray, senior content strategist to Zoosk. "But we didn’t think it would take off like this."

Nearly 2,000 singles have already signed up for Burrit-oh! -and the hardcore fans are really, really into it. A lot of people signed up for a laugh and promptly forgot, in the usual April Fools’ manner, but Zoosk noted that a large number of people started exchanging messages at a rate of 20 or more.

In comparison, competitor OKCupid considers matching to be successful if the message exchange survives four exchanges. Going over 20 is utterly fantastic. 56 messages – the current record on Burrit-oh!- basically means you’re soulmates.

This isn't just interest due to the subject matter, but also due to the casual manner in which it destroys an overruling myth of the online dating industry. According to nearly every major dating site and provider, online dating only works due to "complex" matching algorithms which aim to pair people up due to "deep" aspects of their personalities that complement one another.

Burrit-oh!, however, uses the least complex of all matching algorithms in order to pair up lonely singles: in fact, the most shallow of measures – that being food. In spite of this, people are still hitting it off. This helps to support a finding that social scientists, such as Eli FInkel of Northwestern University, that these algorithms are more about good marketing than anything else.

There is no doubt that Burrit-oh! is good marketing as well. Most of these so-called "pranks" are just that (or at the very least, press awareness). Overall, however, it may just be possible that Burrit-oh! will survive.