A new app plans to allow Facebook users to filter out anyone attending the same event as them depending on their relationship status.
Winkli, which hopes to launch a public beta by July, wants to give users of the app the opportunity to scout all potential encounters before they meet in person.
There are certain similarities between Winkli and dating app Tinder, which promotes itself on the basis that users will have mutual friends, creating a barrier of trust.
But there is a significant difference that may raise privacy concerns among some Facebook users.
Unlike Tinder, where users appear only if they create an account, Winkli appears to take information directly from Facebook.
This means the only way users can opt-out is by deleting their Facebook account or manually removing themselves from every event to which they are invited.
To abide by Facebook regulations for developers, members of the app will be able to browse anything that Facebook users have marked as “public” on their timeline, which could allow them to view past profile pictures or pages that have been “liked”.
This will mean, however, that the app may struggle to filter people by relationship status as many Facebook users do not typically leave this information public.
A straw poll of the BuzzFeed UK office, for example, found that nearly every staff member only allowed their friends to see their relationship status.
Alexis Dupont, the co-founder and CEO of Winkli, told BuzzFeed that the app only makes it easier for users to see information to which they are already privy.
He said: “We just have the first name of the person, the picture, his friends’ connections and the likes that you have in common.”
Dupont noted that they were only taking data made available by Facebook.
“One thing that you cannot do is complete hide yourself,” he added.
“If i type your name on Facebook, I can find your profile. If you set up a very high level of privacy, I will only be able to see a picture. And if I click on about, I can see our common friends.
“And that’s all we need.”
A spokesman for Facebook told BuzzFeed they could not provide an official comment as the app is yet to be formally submitted.
Dupont started working full-time on the app with co-founder Vincent Tromeur after they received investment from a French accelerator. He told BuzzFeed that developers at Facebook in Paris have unofficially said that the app would not break Facebook’s regulations.
Dupont added that Winkli had a distinctive advantage over apps that focus on geographic location, or radius, such as Tinder.
“Many, many applications look at people by geographic location,” he said, “but it’s pretty impossible to bump into someone in real life. Using Facebook events, it’s almost certain that you could bump into someone there.
“This is the best chance you might have in anticipating who you might meet and you can connect with people in advance.”
He added that users could filter the results based on their own preferences.
“You can filter by gender, by sexual orientation and what you’re looking for and we’ll match you with people corresponding with your criteria,” he said.
But the founders of Winkli don’t just want it to be an app that helps users hook up.
Dupont said: “We are starting in the dating sphere but it won’t only be a dating app.
“You will also be able to use the app to see who you might bump into and who you might find interesting. You could go to a girl or a guy and say ‘Hey, we have friends in common!’”
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