With Datelytics, Online Dating Can Actually Be Fun

April 9, 2014

3:50 pm

We can all agree that online dating is the absolute worst, right? Sure, everything is fine and dandy when you’re chatting with the latest guy/girl with whom you were most recently matched on Tinder, or flirting with your soul mate (calm down, lunatic) on OkCupid, or even going on Grindr to find guys to “date” (are we kidding?); however, quite often, reality destroys the digital experiences and connections we’ve created for ourselves – thrown to the wayside, along with our other hopes and dreams – and we’re left with having to deal with another shitty date. What if these expectations were removed, and connections were allowed to build themselves with the help of – rather than the dependence on – an online or digital platform? Wherein social interaction – rather than conventional dating – is the primary motive? And where the real-life experience itself is, like, actually fun? With Datelytics, we can go back to the days of casually hanging out without the terrible pressures associated with dating.

Datelytics is a mobile app that combines the matchmaking function of traditional online dating platforms and the social event recommendation function associated with services like HowAboutWe. Utilizing and analyzing a user’s social profiles, the app recommends a list of deals, activities, or events curated from third-party platforms, such as Groupon, LivingSocial, Meetup, Eventbrite, and Scoutmob.

“From our research, an average [person] would meet about one out of six prospects offline from a dating app, yet have a higher chance of meeting someone through a network platform,” said founder and CEO Brandon Luong.

According to Luong, our reliance on these online dating platforms has limited our freedom to go out into the world and actually meet and engage with people in real life. And, I mean, he has a point. It’s really easy (and oftentimes tempting) to spend minutes or even hours of our time, sitting at our computer or staring at our phones, answering the next OkCupid questionnaire or swiping our fingers on Tinder.

What’s even worse, however, is that once we do manage to find someone we think we like, the real-world experience of being in the same room with that person can be excruciating and awkward. Part of this terrible experience, Luong suggests, may have to do with being subjected to activities that you may not even have any interest in, in the first place, but engage in or attend due to the unofficial dogmas of dating (e.g. let’s go grab dinner, even though I would much rather go to this neat book festival but whatever – ugh, dating).

“I would say the incentive of getting a date is good, but we aren’t going to tell you to do something you wouldn’t already have thought about doing,” said Luong, on what makes Datelytics so great.

On Datelytics, once users have indicated which events they are interested in attending, the app will notify other users who also plan to attend and who share your similar interests (based on analysis of your social profiles, such as the ‘likes’ and ‘interests’ and other activity from your Facebook). From there, users can decide to message each other and plan to meet at an event, or they can, just, not. And that’s were Datelytics finds its true value: the idea that one can have fun, with the prospect of meeting someone, but without the pressure of actually having to meet someone. “Even though one of [our] goals is to find users a date, our ultimate objective is to have users to get off the couch and go out for fun,” said Luong. Simply, if you remove Datelytics from the equation, it would be the same experience as finding a deal on LivingSocial and going to an event by yourself. But, I mean, what fun is that? With Datelytics, you get the additional bonus of knowing that there could be a future significant other hanging around – I mean, we’re all secretly envious of that rom-com meet-cute, right?

Despite not having yet launched its app, Datelytics has already garnered a lot of attention, including that of Shark Tank. The DC-based company has advanced in the interview process and is now working on putting together a video submission for the TV show. And, while there’s no certainty in the outcome, it has surely helped put Datelytics on the map – something that Luong hopes will help their Indiegogo campaign that they’ll launch next week.

Datelytics will soon be available on iOS and Android. 

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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