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Spark Starter, which launched earlier this year, lets users match up with friends of Facebook friends.
People can sign up even if they're not looking for a relationship themselves; they can use the program to do a little matchmaking among their friends. offers a "friends of friends" filter, which allows you to narrow your search to find just the people with whom you have Facebook friends in common.
"Since the beginning of time, people have been playing matchmaker," said Brian Nichols, the co-founder of Mashr, which launched this month. So putting that whole philosophy into an app was something we thought would make a lot of sense." "I was at the bar with my friends, who were single," he said.
"They were talking about Tinder, how they never are getting matched up with people who are a good fit for them.
Connecting over Facebook takes away the relative anonymity of online dating, she said, but tread carefully: Dating the friend of a friend carries plenty of potential for awkwardness. When you share no mutual friends with an online connection, it's easy to just stop returning phone calls, but "you can't do that when it's a friend's friend." Patrick Talley, who lives in Houston, is a strong advocate of the friends-of-friends approach.
"We had circled around each other," Talley said, but "we never really had a real 'meet' until I made a conscious effort to do exactly what that app does." Talley believes that sometimes you can't rely on just friends and fate.