The latest dating site wants your browser to play matchmaker

Dating is hard, but with the proliferation of dating apps and networks like Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, HowAboutWe, 8^8… you get the gist: There are more avenues than ever to actively search for and meet your soulmate, to the point where it can be overwhelming. But, what if meeting someone were as easy as opening a new browser tab?

That’s the idea behind Tab, a forthcoming Google Chrome extension that builds online dating right into your daily digital workflow. Its user process is almost too simple:

1. Open a tab to find a new potential partner.
2. Tap the heart to see if you match.
3. Get chatting and see where it takes you.
4. Not for you? Just continue browsing the web.

Neither a website nor a mobile app, Tab takes online dating into a whole other region — right into the fabric of your Internet experience. It’s a bit of a weird idea at first: Every time you to go YouTube to get into a cute animal video spiral, or pull up Twitter to check up on news and hilarious Vines, you’ll be confronted with a stranger’s face and given the option to chat or pass.

But, when you think about it, this is actually a great, noncommittal way to do this whole “online dating thing.”

First of all, it has all the efficacy of swipe left/swipe right; you either heart the person you see, or you don’t. (The argument of “That’s so shallow!” doesn’t hold water, since that’s true about dating, period.) Even if you do heart the person in question, Tab doesn’t force you to commit to the conversation — clocking out is as simple as closing the tab. And of course, you don’t even have to be active on Tab; think of it like a regular Chrome skin, just one that gives you the option to strike up a chat with a stranger should you want to.

Tab is still in its sign up period right now, so if you’re looking for a new online dating option, perhaps this could be the one? If nothing else, it’ll certainly liven up your browser backgrounds. Go forth, online daters, and let us know how this works out for you when it launches later this year.

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