Jawed Karim, who cofounded You Tube and designed much of Pay Pal, has said that Hot or Not was so monumental because “anyone could upload content that everyone else could view.That was a new concept because up until that point, it was always the people who owned the website who would provide the content.” It probably didn’t hurt that most of these developers were teenage boys when Hot or Not launched, placing them firmly in the site’s target demo.
Hot or Not eventually evolved into a matchmaking site, one that falls somewhere between Ok Cupid and Adult Friend Finder on the yardstick of creepiness.
While Hot or Not came after Rate My Face (1999) and Am IHot (also 2000) and didn’t add any new functions to the Y/N photo-rating concept, it was more popular than either of its forebears.
Mark Zuckerberg was inspired by Hot or Not to create Facemash, the early version of Facebook, as mythologized in .
Likewise the founders of You Tube originally planned to develop online video content just so they could create a site like Hot or Not with video.
Hot or Not was controversial, sparking debate about whether sites that averaged attractiveness were a step toward digital eugenics, or just a cynical, realist reveal of the bleak fact that some are “hot” while others are “not.” The problem underscoring Hot or Not is the assumption that hotness is objective and mathematical, rather than deeply personal and culturally influenced.