Adam Cohen-Aslatei built S’More with the idea that dating apps should be able to link people intellectually rather than superficially. After working in the industry for a decade, Cohen-Aslatei wanted to create a platform that would be able to give people something long-term, rather than contribute to the quick hook up culture that was created by other platforms. We spoke with Cohen-Aslatei to discuss everything from what inspired S’More to what people get wrong about the more conventional dating apps.
Grit Daily: You had your own adventures before launching S’More. Share those.
Adam Cohen-Aslatei: I’ve had many adventures, but my first foray into the dating and people meeting world happened in grad school. I was at Harvard and I literally could not find engineers, doctors, and lawyers anywhere. There was just so much going on everyday.
So I built a platform to match graduate students outside of their field of study. Then we hosted these speed dating or speed meeting events where you got to meet 10-15 people based on your preferences and if there was a match made at the event, your email address would automatically exchange! That was in 2008 before dating apps even existed. I love meeting new people. I find it fascinating to watch people socialize, interact, and bond. It’s a hugely rewarding experience.
Grit Daily: For the uninitiated, what’s so “different” about S’More?
ACA: Everything! After spending over 10 years working in the industry you become jaded. There are so many apps and they all start looking and feeling the same, and most don’t really work at scale. S’More is the world’s first anti-superficial relationship app.
So if you’re looking for a quick thing tonight, we’re definitely not the app for you, but if you are looking for something more, then you need to download S’More. While most dating apps force people to make dating decisions instantly and based on little more than a selfie, S’More (a.k.a. Something More), slows down the process. Kind of similar to Love is Blind on Netflix. Instead of judging a book by its cover, S’More is about getting to know a person first before passing judgement.
The more you interact and chat, the more photos unblur, and other visual content including photo galleries, videos, and social media connections unlock. On S’More, you can hear a person’s voice, listen to their favorite music all before you see their photos. It’s fun and leads to many more conversations, plus it allows for the magic of dating to take place because we do not allow for ethnic filtering.
Grit Daily: We’ve heard some horror stories from other apps. What safety features can users expect?
ACA: Agreed. Dating apps can be a scary place. The industry does not do enough to protect daters, and S’More is leading the way encouraging safer dating and more wide-spread industry change. We were instrumental in getting some of the largest LGBTQIA+ dating apps to remove race and ethnic filtering – which perpetuates racial biases, discriminates based on skin color, and leads to intolerance. S’More is the first mainstream dating app to verify 100% of its users to control catfishing.
We use an AI technology that confirms that your uploaded photos are 1. Real and of you 2. Are current 3. Are not overly altered. We also introduced a behavioral score to control for bad behavior and abusive content. The first thing you see on a person’s profile even before a photo, is their behavioral score, and no one wants to talk with someone who has a low score, so people on S’More are much more respectful. We also have an extensive onboarding process to weed out bad actors and users who are not there to date but to solicit for other things. These are just a few examples.
Grit Daily: And as for “profiles” themselves, how do you “help’ your users?
ACA: Good question. Well, let’s face it, most dating apps have boring profiles.. Why, because they all look and feel the same. That’s not the case on S’More. Our profiles are unstructured so that means you can move icons around your profile to customize it. Our icons are also hand illustrated and animated and there are over 250 icons to select from– so you can go crazy personalizing it, which is exactly what we want you to do.
We also require love-seekers to have an audio cue, voice and voice and / or music, and a second visual cue, photo galleries, videos, or social media connections. Our profiles drive a mass amount of engagement and lead to conversation, because unlike most dating apps, our profiles are 100% complete and of high quality! Plus we even added blurred video dating- which is the most fun you’ll have on a video date for sure!
Grit Daily: What is one conventional wisdom about dating apps that’s just plain wrong?
ACA: Most dating apps are built to get you into a relationship. If that were true, the mechanic of choice would not be a swipe where on average a person spends 3 seconds before making a decision. And secondly, most people on dating apps are looking for casual encounters.
Actually over 60% of all online daters want something more serious. They are just using the wrong type of app! And that’s exactly why we created S’More.