The next time you accept a Facebook friend request from someone you sort of know, consider this: would you be ok if they asked you to spoon them? Ben & Jerry’s is putting online friendships to the test with a new Facebook application that allows people to go well beyond poking and into full-on proposition territory.
Wanna Spoon? is exactly what it sounds like, except that it’s not. Far from suggesting anything cozily intimate, Ben & Jerry’s is hoping to get people to share its Greek frozen yogurt with friends. And that requires spoons!
Created by NYC-based agency Amalgamated and developed by production company Tool of North America, Wanna Spoon? matches Facebook friends based on likes, interests, music, books, movies, the number of things you like, the number of friends you have, your zodiac sign, and even things as far out as having a sibling or relative with the same name or martial status. Download the app and you’re an algorithm away from finding the perfect spooning partner. By searching the information on the profiles of your friends, you’re matched with someone who might just be in the mood to share some milky-icy goodness with you.
Ben & Jerry’s fans are quite active on Facebook, which created great potential for the app. Plus, says, Amalgamated’s partner and director of interactive Paul Aaron, they just wanted to give people an excuse to post "Wanna Spoon?" on people’s Facebook walls. "In addition to the obvious double entendre it just made us laugh. I think everyone has a handful of Facebook friends they wouldn’t mind spooning with. And while you can type in a specific person’s name and see the reasons you should spoon them, part of what makes this app fun is that you don’t know which of your Facebook friends the algorithm is going to recommend."
The results are amusing. That friend of a friend you sort of know but usually forget meeting when they appear in your feed? Turns out you saw the same movie. Spoon them! That guy from work you friended after an awkward office party? Who knew you both liked the same band (still awkward). And the algorithmic hilarity doesn’t stop there. The ties that bind can be as loose as “You both didn’t fill out your hometown on Facebook ” or “You don’t post to Facebook often” or “You are married”, though presumably not to each other (though, in my experience, that seemingly general piece of information wasn’t enough suggest my significant other as a potential spooning partner. Shame.)
The idea is for people to reconnect with old friends in real life over a froyo, which the app might well facilitate. But Wanna Spoon? has the amusing side effect of revealing which people you’re "friends" with (as many you’ve likely forgotten) and what you actually have in common--or not, as the case may be.