A new breed of dating apps wants us to slow right down and stop judging based on appearances. Unlike the voyeurism and judging-fest that is Tinder, new dating apps Jigtalk and Appetence have slowed the pace right down. These apps are based around -shock- actually getting to know the other person before you judge their appearance. Yes that's right folks - you actually have to message with a stranger!
Although both apps are very different from each other, the basic premise of each is that to see what each other looks like, you have to interact first.
First let's have a look at Jigtalk. Sixteen jigsaw pieces cover your profile picture. You have the option to add a short bio/tagline and add up to four/three more photos (these can't be seen by anyone yet).
You are presented with a choice of two profiles where as long as they have uploaded a photo you can see a small, tantalising glimpse of them and their bio/tagline. You give one of these the thumbs up. If you don't want to thumbs up either of them, tough! You can't move on until you do.
If you get a match, you are then guided through the initial message exchange by a series of four prompt questions generated at random from their bank of 100 ice breaker questions. They can be pretty awkward but it does break the ice. Once these questions are over you are on your own to make conversation.
You remove one of the 16 jigsaw pieces with each message exchanged. When all are removed you can see all the profile pics the other person has uploaded but that's all. And of course you can continue to message if you want.
It's an means of procrastination, but without any information to go on in a profile, it makes the getting to know you part more difficult. Having a mandatory and more detailed text profile would be good. As it is you know very little about the other person, have no idea what they look like, so you are very much aware that you could be wasting your time anyway. When the inevitable anticlimax is reached it just feels like a bit of a let down.
Jigtalk is aimed at 18-35 year old students and young professionals, who will enjoy it as a gamified version of Tinder. For me (42) more profile text to go on would improve the experience.
Now for Appetence. "Appetence" means "a natural craving or desire". On opening the app I had high hopes. It looked very slick. It has an appealing and user friendly interface, and easy to navigate around. You are able to enter details about yourself, but you have to select from options they give you. It's a bit limiting if you choose from the popular selection, and time consuming if you choose from the entire selection, but I can see why they do it this way. They use the interests to match you up with people you have things in common with.
Now it gets confusing. For me anyway. You have to exchange messages and gain likes from your matches on your messages and tastes/interests. You also need to like their messages and interests so that they can find out more about you. You need 10 likes to unlock one of their interest categories, which lets you see what they are into.
A piece is removed from their profile photo for each interest or message you like, and each message you exchange, And there are 50 pieces to reveal the whole profile photo. That's a whole lot of messaging and liking! But, at least you will have some of the other persons interests to help the conversation along. There are 10 categories of interests, from hobbies to personal style, sports to books.
It is actually fun, as you get to slowly uncover not only their photo but their interests. You have plenty of things to bring into the conversation as you can indicate what you have in common with each other.
Both of these apps have serious novelty value in the Tinder era, and the potential to be a lot of fun and a less superficial way of connecting with people. They remind me of the olden days of the internet, connecting with strangers on bulletin boards and making friends and potential relationships without eve knowing what each other looked like... *drifts off into nostalgia*
Camille Forsell, the founder of Appetence says ""Slow dating" or simply "taking things slow" is not about losing time, but it is much rather about investing attention and energy in the quality of the encounters and connections".
The question is, in this society geared towards instant gratification, will people have the patience to indulge in prolonged messaging with people they may not have anything in common with or fancy at all?
This article can also be found on the Matchmaking Mentor website
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