Business Insider Edition

A fake Amazon dating app that 'sells' people at various price points is going viral

Julia Naftulin , Business Insider US
 Feb 05, 2020, 08:55 PM
After browsing the selection of potential dates on Amazon Dating, users can click and "buy" them.
  • A group of content creators, with an animation company Thinko, created Amazon Dating, a satirical dating platform where people can fake-purchase their dream date.
  • The website looks eerily similar to Amazon's real site and has functional features that allow users to "buy" the featured dates.
  • Some people said putting a price on people, especially on black people during Black History Month, is problematic. Some found Amazon Dating humorous for drawing parallels with the toxic nature of online dating.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

Online dating can often make people feel more like commodities than singles looking for love, with photo-heavy profiles for others to swipe through, and suggested chat-up lines.

With that in mind, content creators Suzy Shinn, Ani Acopian, and Morgan Gruer collaborated with animation company Thinko and created the satirical service Amazon Dating.

On it, users can "buy" people they want to date just as easily as they would a book, a vacuum cleaner, or an avocado-shaped pool float with a removable pit on Amazon.com.

Every person who's "for sale" on Amazon Dating comes with a price, reviews, a bulleted description of hobbies, and even a drop down to choose how tall you want them to be.

They've also added relationship-related features that match Amazon's typical style. Instead of offering different sizes for the humans featured, the Thinko team added "love language" options for each person, so you can choose whether your digitally-designed dream date enjoys words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, or another love language from Gary Chapman's best-selling book.

Karen's hobbies include speaking to the manager and the police, according to Amazon Dating.
Thinko

Different people cost different amounts, which raised some concerns

When you go to the fully functional Amazon Dating homepage, you can see different people as if they were available to purchase.

The Amazon Dating homepage.
Thinko

Although Thinko noted that Amazon Dating was a joke, some viewers didn't like that they monetised humans at different prices.

Others said they found the project funny.

Amazon Dating allows you checkout like you would on the real Amazon website

After browsing the selection of potential dates on Amazon Dating, users can click and "buy" them.

To test the function, Insider "bought" Teddy, 87, in the size "words of affirmation" and at a height of 5'5". Teddy also happened to be the "Deal of the Day."

One previous Teddy customer noted in the reviews section that Teddy was a great gift for a family member.

"I bought as a wedding gift for my great Aunt who is in her 80's and was getting remarried," the faux review read. "They had a cute reaction."

After hitting "add to cart," a review window appeared just like it does for any real Amazon order.

Once the order was placed, a fake confirmation message was generated.

Teddy was Amazon Dating's "Deal of the Day."
Thinko


What it looks like after clicking the checkout button.
Thinko


You also get a message confirming your fake order.
Thinko

The website has other functional features, including a downloable 'non-ghosting agreement'

In addition to being able to fake-purchase people, Amazon Dating has other clickable and interactive features that poke fun at dating in the digital age.

If you click on the "legal" button in the top menu, for example, you're redirected to a downloadable document called a "Non-Ghosting Agreement."

"This Non-Ghosting Agreement is entered into by and between __________________ ("Disclosing Party") and ___________________ ("Receiving Party") for the purpose of preventing the unauthorised action of "Ghosting," as defined below," the document reads.

And if users click the button for Prime Video, they're redirected to the popular video chatting website Chat Roulette.

An Amazon spokesperson said the company has "no comment" on Amazon Dating.

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