Finding enough to talk about on a date can be difficult. Finding enough to talk about on an online dating app can seem nigh impossible.
To take some of the awkwardness out of the virtual connection experience, the new social media app XO looks to introduce playing games into the online dating experience. The app’s thesis is that playing games such as word searches, topic rankings, drawings, or quizzes is a better way to meet someone, relax a bit and break the ice. Playing those friendly games lets us get to know each other while distracted from any innate shyness or awkwardness.
It’s a technique that works well enough in the real world away from online media. The entire concept of a date is built around an activity — a movie, a meal, a concert, etc. Whether it’s taking an art class or playing a round of miniature golf, would-be couples can alleviate any social performance anxiety they might have by blending fun activities with the process of getting to know each other.
Within XO, users have the freedom and control to indicate their gender identity and match preferences before meeting potential partners. Once there’s an initial match in the vicinity the user selects, XO rolls out its tricks as the first dating app with icebreaker games.
Those friendly contests include word games, drawing challenges and other contests designed to involve both players evenly in turns. Obviously, the point of the games isn’t winning. It’s to enable the conversations that go on around the playing and vent any tension that might build up when potential mates try to get more accustomed to one another. Everyone’s guard is down when he or she laughs about how bad a drawing is or at how they ranked Flock of Seagulls above The Beatles.
In the worst case scenario of a date that fizzles out, XO allows the user to share his or her clunky drawings or impressive quiz results via social media.
The app is now available at the iOS App Store and will soon be ready for Google Play.