Want to date Donald Trump?
Badoo, a social network based in London with over 350 million users worldwide, is now using facial recognition technology to help users find a match who looks like anyone at all, including their ex, themselves, or the president of the United States.
The company calls itself as a “social discovery” site, and says its aim is to help people connect with one another for a variety or purposes, not just to find dates. Much of the activity on the platform, however, focuses on users searching for romantic partners.
Lookalikes, a feature Badoo launched this week, connects to a user’s Facebook profile and automatically suggests Facebook friends for whom they might want to find doppelgängers, as well as their own profile picture and a selection of celebrities. The user can then upload any picture, and the app will find lookalikes.
The most-searched celebrities globally are Kim Kardashian West and Emma Stone. Trump’s was the tenth most searched for face in the world. Miles Norris, vice president of product at Badoo, told the BBC that the app would prioritize people who were geographically close to the user, but not exclude others who might be thousands of miles away. Users have to “like” one another before either can begin a conversation, a feature which might protect some people with a resemblance to popular celebrities from being inundated with communications.
Would you know that another user had picked you out because you looked like their teacher or like the star of their favorite sit-com? Using the app doesn’t suggest there’s any way to divine motivation in another user, other than to ask them.