“Pepflirt”, the “Flirt” website that inspired Facebook and Tinder, is turning 20


Before there were all of the social networks and even the dating apps that everyone uses today, such as: B. Tinder, there was a platform called “HOTorNOT” back in 2000 that was created purely by chance. In short, it also wanted people to meet … but in a very peculiar way, and that led to other social networks like Facebook.

“Pepflirt” was born as a two-way social web based on a reward system where users voluntarily uploaded their photos to expect to be rated 1 to 10 by strangers. Conceptually, this defines Web 2.0 and how it works the current social networks

“Pepflirt” was a social website where users could upload personal photos to others on the internet to rate their attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10. The lowest score is for someone who is not very handsome, and the highest is for someone who is beautiful.

According to the creators, the rating is used to interact or express interest without saying a word. So it would be a bi-directional web where some can connect with others, a rationale of Web 2.0. This is what it looked like 20 years ago:

HotOrNOT Social Web

Today it is still in operation, although its image has changed a lot. With its 20-year history, it has 500 million users itself, according to the portal. To use it, you need to manually register or link a Facebook account.

As in any other social network, it is necessary to upload a photo to the profile and write a short biography indicating what you enjoy doing and what you are looking for. As soon as the profile is created, the “rating process” of the attractiveness of the rest of the users begins, for which you need to access the “Meet Me” or “Encounters” tab, a function where users are asked to get to know each other and start a planned one Meeting.

All you have to do is rate the other person by selecting “Yes” or “No.” In the event that they both say yes, a connection is opened to start a chat conversation with the other person. In short, this is very similar to Tinder. This is how it looks today:

Hot or non-voting news

If you just want to use HOT or NOT to meet people from your city, you don’t have to pay anything. However, if you want to participate in international polls with people from other parts of the world, you need to subscribe to a premium plan.

«HOTorNOT», origin of the current social networks

From a conceptual point of view, “HOTorNOT” is seen as the origin of modern social networks that are now penetrating the digital world. Twenty years ago, the essence of sharing personal photos online wasn’t as questioned as it is today. The rating of the attractiveness of people from 1 to 10 was nothing more than offering a “Like” or “Dislike” a publication, which is common on Facebook or Instagram and even on Tinder and shifts the picture to the left or right.

In fact, before Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg created a similar platform called “Facemash” that allows users to rate faces. Even “HOT or NOT” offered Zuckerberg help and free accommodation, but the young student at the time didn’t respond. Years later he remarked that “he has never seen the mail and that he is very sorry”.

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