Blog Post

Here Come Hot-or-Not Clones, On Mobile

Mobile software company IceBreaker plans to launch a mobile application called Crush or Flush next Monday, which the guys at Next.Net wrote about this week. It’s a mobile dating application that lets you choose between photos of users that are either “crush” worthy or “flushable”.

If you think it sounds a lot like a mobile version of Hot or Not, then you would be in agreement with James Hong, founder of Hot or Not. He emailed and shared his thoughts about IceBreaker with us. “I’ve met the Icebreaker guys and am impressed with them. The system they’ve built is clearly very similar to our ‘Meet Me at HOTorNOT’ system. I’m not sure if we were an inspiration for their system or not but if we were.. as the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” (Meow!)

We met up with James a few weeks ago because we had recently heard about a mobile application that the company had been working on. He says Hot or Not did have a mobile application created, but decided not to release it to the public. “The market is just too early,” he says.

But now that social mobile services like FunkySexyCool are starting to gain a little traction with users, it’s not a surprise that mobile applications that take a cue from Hot or Not are launching. It might be time for Hot or Not to release that mobile application it created. What do you think James?

11 Responses to “Here Come Hot-or-Not Clones, On Mobile”

  1. I’m sure the guys at Icebreaker – outdoor gear from New Zealand, won’t mind these guys using their name too much. They now share it with a mobile dating startup and a small musical instrument invented by someone in Australia!

    In any case, it sounds a fun service, but how can Icebreaker solve the chicken and egg problem of getting enough people on the site for new people to engage with it?

  2. Played with it a bit. Two corrections to the above – there seem to be more women than men there now and you can sign up via mobile ( Agree, though, that is a bitch to type in if you don’t use the SMS to your phone.

  3. hey om, and others, speaking of proliferation of mobile devices with browsers and increased high speed mobile phone speed/access, what kind of cost might ‘every startup out there’ be looking at for mobile versioning? (e.g. imagine in a real mobile interface, like what has been doing for a while) – are these ridiculously expensive projects, or just css revisions with a few fancy calls?

  4. Manish Lachwani


    411Sync already supports viewing HotOrNot pictures on your cell phones using WAP or MMS sent to [email protected]. This support has been added using the HotOrNot API and the 411Sync Mobile API.

    All you need to do is use the search keyword “hot” with a few parameters describing your location, min age, max age and m/f.

  5. sorry, forgot to add this bit: if you don’t send via sms, get a feel for the experience by trying to type in ‘’ on a standard numeric interface…ouch. and no real mobile signup option either, so kills the viral prospect…

  6. seems like an interesting opportunity for an early entrant to clean up the utility, though ultimately i suspect match or yahoo will step up their mobile offering (e.g. mutual match done like crushorflush) and that will be the end of the niche site prospects…honestly, another dating site? at least dodgeball and others had a layer built around socialization versus just dating…this is limited, i imagine more of a sausage party (aka 90percent men, primarily mobile geek type) with few women, all women eventually100 percent crush)…good luck to ’em, they’re trailblazers in this small category…

  7. Ted Avery

    Too early to tell. I don’t see them getting much traction this year. It’s too early to launch something that is easily copied on the WAP site side of things. You are just helping your competition by giving them ideas.