The #Innovative #Dating Apps #Challenging #Tinder ‘Swipe’ #Culture


As founder of Never Liked It Anyway, a company dedicated to helping people get over their breakups, I inadvertently spend time investigating the online dating space. And there’s a lot out there. Including gems like Bristlr (for bearded men and bearded men lovers), 3nder (just like Tinder, but for threesomes), Wingman (an app to help you join the mile high club), SaladMatch (to help you connect over your favorite salad) or Equestrian Cupid (for horse lovers to meet). But a few apps are tackling the issue of ‘swipe culture’ head on, by creating features and algorithms that foster genuine connections and prioritize in-person meets. Here are three companies to watch.

Coffee Meets Bagel

This dating app recently introduced a new video feature that encourages users to answer a question of the day with a short eight-second video. Similar to Snapchat, the videos disappear after a day, and those who submit a video will have their profile visible five times more than those who don’t. The videos encourage open conversation and offer a glimpse into people’s true character behind the profile. And that kind of intimacy increases the probability of connection, and ultimately dates. Cofounder and COO Dawoon Kang says, “Letting yourself be seen by people you don’t know can be scary. But like human connection researcher Brené Brown says, without that, you can’t form a real connection.”


Started by Eve Peters, Tonight is an app that focuses on enabling real dates, not just online chats. The app discovers whether users are interested in each other, and once mutual interest has been expressed, Tonight schedules a date. Users have to be signed in by 6pm that day to be eligible for a date that evening. There is no swiping, no messaging and no flaking (users get penalized and ultimately removed for not showing up to dates). Peters says, “Everything we’ve built in here is not optimizing for matches or swipes. Our most important KPI is date success rate — the number of people who get a date, divided by number of people who tried to get a date.”


This app aims to connect people at a genuine level by allowing them to connect over their favorite music. The app pulls in your music preferences from Facebook, as well as allowing you to add more tunes to your profile. The most intriguing feature, however, is setting your profile to a track, so potential dates hear your favorite song as they’re browsing your profile. This automatically creates grounds for a meaningful and intimate conversation, and thus increases the likelihood of both connecting through their messenger platform and converting that conversation into a date.