In less than three weeks, a new site allowing Virginia Tech students to compare the looks of their classmates has exploded in use.
The site, VTFaceOff, presents two photos side by side. Users can choose one of the two pictures as more attractive, or select neither. Pictures selected most often in these “faceoffs” are placed on the site’s “Hall of Fame.”
The site is modeled after an early version of Facebook presented in the movie “The Social Network.”
“We saw that there was nothing similar at Virginia Tech and decided it would be interesting the (sic) pursue,” the site’s founders wrote in an e-mail.
A tagline on the site’s home page claims over 5,000 users and 600,000 votes. Registration for the site is limited to those with “vt.edu” email addresses.
The site’s founders declined to reveal their names and would only communicate to the Collegiate Times via e-mail from the vtfaceoff.com domain name.
The founders, identifying themselves as three currently enrolled Tech students, said they wanted to keep their names private because they didn’t want “undo (sic) attention that would distract us from our studies.”
A WHOIS search for the domain vtfaceoff.com showed the site was purchased on March 16. The site formally launched March 25. The registrant name is listed as private, and a Chesterbrook, Pa. address listed is shared with domain registration site 1&1 Internet Inc.
Originally open to female images only, the site recently allowed male pictures to be uploaded.
“We had initially planned to add men. We didn't receive enough submissions early on, so we saved them up until we were ready to release that feature,” an email from the site’s founders read.
The site has drawn some mixed reactions from students featured in the “Hall of Fame.”
Amber Shaffer, a freshman engineering major, said she was surprised to be recognized in one of her classes from being on the site’s “Hall of Fame.”
“Was that you at number three?” Shaffer said, recounting the conversation with the classmate. “It was a little bit awkward.”
At press time, Shaffer had fallen out of the top 90 spots comprising the female "Hall of Fame."
Eric Olson, a senior business information technology major, said he was surprised to see himself on the site. A friend of Olson’s had placed a picture of him on the site.