Dating apps have a formula. Certainly, many have a USP —some let women make the first move, others are for vegans, or people who voted Brexit.
But broadly, online love runs thus: as a dater, you pick potential mates based on jobs, blurry group shots from Glastonbury 2015 and gym selfies.
As a datee, your entire person is reduced to a series of tick boxes and a one-line bio.
The online dating scene is in a state of flux —and the new frontier is making dating feel more personalised, and more authentic.
A new app is part of that movement: it’s called Happii and the aim is to create comprehensive “immersive” profiles that give a greater sense of who you (really) are.
On your page you can share holiday snaps, funny videos, playlists, film trailers and books you’d like to read. You can also share status updates, and pin recent trips on a digital world map.
The profile picture function is more expressive, too: instead of a static photo, users can upload a profile video.
Like most dating apps, Happii matches users based on factors like sex, age and location, but it goes further, also matching you according to education, career, children, smoking and drinking. When looking through your matches, you’ll be able to see five personality traits and five key interests of the other person.
If you like what you see, you can then drill down deeper and see the rest of their profile page —videos, books, statuses.
Aside from making online dating more colourful, there’s also a crucial safety element, especially for women. The app incorporates a “decency filter”, which detects and removes any offending material, such as too much skin in your main profile photo.
There’s also a date diary for users to log their dates for added peace-of-mind, anti-scamming algorithms to intercept dodgy messages and a Facebook login to help verify users, so no more secrets or fake profiles.
And messaging is also more thoughtful. To encourage proper engagement, the first message must be at least 100 characters. No more aubergine emojis or one-liners: the devil is in the (extensive) details.
“It’s all of these elements combined that really help determine attraction (or not), even before any contact is made,” says founder Darren Newman.
More detailed content means more conversation-starters and less pressure to come up with a witty one-liner, he explains.
Bad dates don’t always come down to science, but knowing whether it’s worth investing further time messaging and meeting up stacks the odds of having good dates in your favour.
The app launches in autumn, but it’s currently creating hype with a pre-registration: the first 5,000 people will get free lifetime membership (otherwise, it’s £12.50 a month, which should also sort the wheat from the chaff).
The course of online love might yet run smoother.