Wings, the Facebook Dating App, Pulls an Icarus; Relaunches as

(Page 3 of 3), eHarmony and other online dating sites. (The site is free for now.) Having to pay to message a potential date, even if it’s in virtual coins, introduces friction at just the wrong moment; a simple subscription model “better aligns our interest with our users’ and ensures the community has a better feel,” Nagaraj says.

In place of Facebook-style virality—which never materialized anyway—Triangulate is trying out a different way of acquiring users for DateBuzz. It has recruited three women who live in San Francisco to create daily video blog posts about their experiences using the service. (“Jen” is a freelance sports journalist, “Kate” is studying to be a pharmacist, and “Marita” is studying for an MFA in poetry and fiction writing.) Nagaraj says the hope is that the women’s daily posts will spread virally and lead viewers back to the blog, which features a prominent signup button and will contribute to DateBuzz’s image as “a strong, edgy brand.”

If DateBuzz gathers some buzz of its own, Triangulate will be able to grow out of its seed stage and seek a full Series A investment in the spring, Nagaraj says. The company has already begun to staff up, most recently adding former Arie Grapa, the former head engineer for Yahoo Personals, as its chief technology officer. “Arie brings a ton of technical experience, but also a passion for the dating world,” says Nagaraj. “He was at Yahoo for 10 years, and 7 or 8 or those were at Personals, so he has seen the ups and downs.”

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Wade Roush is the producer and host of the podcast Soonish and a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @soonishpodcast

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