Think Kim Kardashian is sexy? This app matches you with celebrity lookalikes.
Andrey Andreev - founder of Badoo, the popular social networking site - has long tried to crack down on a certain breach of dating-site etiquette.
"People from time to time upload pictures of Angelina Jolie," he said. Or Justin Bieber. Average Joes try to pass themselves off as Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
So Andreev worked with a team to identify and remove fake celebrity profiles, using facial recognition technology to spot photos downloaded from the internet. But while he was routing out the fake Angies, Andreev realized that he could use that technology for another purpose.
"We could use this for lookalikes," he said. No one wants to be tricked by a celebrity poser, but who wouldn't want to date a Joseph Gordon-Levitt doppelganger? "You can find your own Angelina Jolie or Justin Bieber."
Now, Badoo has released a "lookalikes" feature that allows the site's more than 350 million users to search for potential matches that resemble their celebrity crushes. You can search for the doppelgangers of 16,000 celebrities and counting - or find users resembling a friend or ex-lover. A Narcissus besotted by his own reflection can upload a selfie.
Gender studies professors would have a field day with Badoo's most frequently searched celebrities - Barack Obama lookalikes are the most sought-after men, while Kim Kardashian doppelgangers are the most popular women. Andreev didn't expect that a certain septuagenarian would attract so many clicks: "Donald Trump," he said. "This was a surprise."
By the way, you can look up Vladimir Putin, too. The search turns back mostly middle-aged men with thinning hair, including one who is shirtless.
The site's celebrity lookalikes aren't exactly doppelgangers - but they share general features: face shapes, hairstyles. The real purpose of the feature, says Miles Norris, the site's vice president of product, is to help users break the ice. "It helps people strike up conversations," he said.
And will any real stars turn up when you search for your celebrity crushes? "We can say yes," Andreev said. "But not who."
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