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The Amazon Dating App Is Fake, But The Fears Are Real

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Feeling lonely this Valentine's Day? And do you enjoy the convenience of delivery apps, such as Postmates?

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Then Amazon dating is here to save you this year. No more of all that pesky and tiring swiping right or left on dating apps like Tinder or Bumble.

KELLY: No, Amazon Dating, through its powerful algorithm, has all the best candidates for you lined up, priced, rated and reviewed. Here is co-creator Ani Acopian.

ANI ACOPIAN: The Amazon algorithm is insane, right? It recommends, like, things that you want to buy that you don't even know you want to buy. And we were kind of imagining, like, what would that future look like if we applied it to dating.

CORNISH: To anyone frantically scouring app stores to find Amazon Dating or just freaking out over the idea of buying your real-life valentine, just stop.

KELLY: Yeah, it's a prank. Ani Acopian is not an upstart app developer but a conceptual artist living in LA. She says it all started late last year after a breakup. She was feeling lonely.

ACOPIAN: I made a joke about how I wish I could Postmates my girlfriend to me because we kind of do that with our - with everything else. We do that with our food, with our clothes, etc.

CORNISH: That joke turned into an idea. Soon after, Acopian's friend, music producer and writer Suzy Shinn, joined the project. And on February 4, Amazon Dating went public.

KELLY: It looks disturbingly like a real Amazon page, and it's interactive.

CORNISH: Click on a profile picture and you get a mock review of each person.

KELLY: Click on don't see what you're looking for and you are directed to Netflix.

CORNISH: Click on your last relationship and you're watching "Toxic" by Britney Spears on YouTube. People have been fooled and both Shinn and Acopian love it.

SUZY SHINN: The joke of Amazon Dating is, like, there's reviews up there. Would you be acting the way that you act, like, if there were reviews being left about you? I don't know.

ACOPIAN: Right. It's like, you know, oh, you posted...

SHINN: You hung out with Jason; you might enjoy hanging out with Jake.

(LAUGHTER)

KELLY: Both of them say Amazon has not sent a cease-and-desist letter - not yet.

CORNISH: And no word yet on whether Amazon is considering its own legit dating site in time for Valentine's Day next year.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TOXIC")

BRITNEY SPEARS: (Singing) Oh, the taste of your lips, I'm on a ride. You're toxic. I'm slipping under. With a taste of a poison paradise, I'm addicted to you. Don't you know that you're toxic? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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