Introducing Bristlr’s copy-paste detector

An example of the copy-paste detector

On dating sites and apps some people (let’s be honest, usually guys) send the same opening line to literally hundreds of people. Sometimes they think up these ice-breakers by themselves, other times they get them from cheat-sheet “guides”. There are even fairly large communities of people out there crowd sourcing these messages. When they find one that seems to work, they run with it.

It’s a shot-gun approach to online dating which makes total sense from a numbers perspective. It’s like the folks who buy special apps and use special websites so they can swipe right as fast as possible on Tinder; it’s all about the numbers. They can decide if they actually want to meet up with the other people later.

Personally, I think it’s fine to do this. But, only if you’re open about what you’re up to. Otherwise, it’s kinda sleazy.  There’s some false assumptions going on.

Hence, Bristlr’s new feature: If you send the same message to multiple people, the message gets sent, and they’re told they aren’t the only person you sent the message to.

This forms part of our general approach to user protection; don’t be afraid to surface information about people’s potential dates. We run a website and app which lets strangers meet up who only know each other through the internet. It’s kind of up to us to make sure we all have as much information as we need to make smart decisions.

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Update: So we’ve had two types of feedback on this feature. The vast majority has been super positive messages from people really happy to know what’s going on. And then there’s been a small minority of sometimes angry dudes (and it’s been 100% dudes) who feel hard done by because their methods aren’t as effective as before.

John Kershaw

John is the founder of Bristlr. When not writing code, he's doing important beard-related business things.

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3 thoughts on “Introducing Bristlr’s copy-paste detector

  1. I love this feature. And to those that don’t, I’m sorry guys, but you’d probably get much better results (more responses anyway) if you actually took the time to read a person’s profile and say something that relates directly to them. Rather than the boring old “Hey, how are you?” try something like “Hey Sarah, I’m Ben. I see you’re into Stephen King, favourite book?”

  2. Take the time to read someone’s profile? Are you serious? Most profiles have barely anything on them. Why don’t you have an advanced search option allowing users to find people they have somthing in common with if you really claim its about getting to know people.

    Assuming all people who copy and paste an introductory message that they wrote themselves as a way to see who is interested are sleazy is insulting. Most women don’t reply because they have so many guys messaging them that they can choose from a list of men. Guys don’t have this option as men are expected to make the first move. Should a guy wait to receive a message from a woman who has a choice from men to pick from? The ones she shortlists will get the opportunity to have a conversation with her while the rest don’t even know if the woman is interested or not.

    It’s just much more easier to see who is interested by sending a copy and pasted message you have wrote rather than badger a woman on why she didn’t reply.

  3. “Update: So we’ve had two types of feedback on this feature. The vast majority has been super positive messages from people really happy to know what’s going on.” – You are bound to say that it’s your business.

    If it was about transparency you could have at least let users know that you have a copy and paste detector that lets users know if users messaging them have sent them a pasted message allowing them to see how many others that message has been sent to.

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