There are so many dating apps out there, and after a while they all start to blend together. I mean, for the most part, they offer the same features, use the same algorithms, and have you fill out the same info. For a dating app to really be successful these days, it has to offer something fresh, something intriguing to single millennials, and something that really sets it apart from all of the Tinders and Coffee Meets Bagels.
One of the newer ones is Happn. First launched in 2014, Happn is unique in that it only shows you people who are physically near where you and who you may have “crossed paths” with. Yes, in a sense it's kind of creepy because it tells you who is within 500 feet of you, and maybe you don't want people knowing that, but if you don't want people knowing your location, don't use this app. It's simple as that.
Despite the somewhat stalkerish feel of the app, they currently have more than 10 million users worldwide and are trying to hit 30 million by the end of 2016.
To help attract more users, Happn just announced a new voice feature. It will allow people to record a one-minute audio clip to go along with their profile. This will make the experience a little more personal as you'll be able to match a voice to a face. In one sense, could see this also being useful in determining someone's level of intelligence, ability to articulate, or simply learning if they have a colloquial accent that may be a turnoff.
“We’re incredibly grateful to the millions of dedicated Happn members around the world who have helped us reach this point.said Didier Rappaport, CEO and co-founder of Happn, in a statement. “To kick off the New Year and celebrate this milestone, we’re giving our users a new feature to build more meaningful relationships within the app by using voice.”
As a good journalist I wanted to familiarize myself with the product I was writing about. And as a single person living in an urban area, I was somewhat curious about the real-time hyperlocal aspect of Happn, so I downloaded the app.
The first thing that I noticed was that there are very few filters by which to search. I could put in a gender and age range, but that was about it. It will then pull up anyone within those parameters who also have the app. I also speculated that the people with whom I'd “crossed paths” with, were really just the people who were shopping at the grocery store next door as I sat on my couch. That was kind of weird. One guy I crossed paths with twice in about 40 minutes although I had never moved. I can only assume he forgot something he was supposed to pick up at the grocery store and had to go back.
The other thing that I concluded about this particular dating app, is that unlike Tinder, where you can flip through hundreds of people in a matter of minutes, this one could take a considerable amount of time to pull a solid selection of possible matches, especially if you're a homebody. If anything, it could encourage those who are single and ready to mingle, to get out and about more often and find out who's around. I look forward to (but not really) the day when I'm at dinner with friends and a guy strolls up to the table to tell me that we just crossed paths on Happn.