12 Comments

Summary:

What if you had a location-based mobile dating and hookup app that wasn’t based around profile photos? Twine is attempting to create an experience that’s focused on conversation rather than looks.

One of the most compelling features of dating or hookup apps like Tinder or Bang With Friends (BWF) is swiping through the screen and seeing photo after photo of either young people near you (Tinder), or people you know in real life (BWF.) And it’s proved to be a successful tactic for these wildly popular apps.

But there’s no denying that it also feels kind of shallow. Twine is a dating app launching Wednesday that is different from Tinder and BWF in a couple of key ways: It matches you with people nearby, but you can’t immediately tell what those people look like and it focuses on helping you make conversation with them.

If you’re totally happy using BWF, or you couldn’t imagine chatting with someone who doesn’t look like a model, then perhaps Twine isn’t for you. But I suspect that a lot of people — particularly women, who are notoriously less enthusiastic about online dating and hookup apps then men — would be willing to give it a try.

Twine tries to match you up with people in your age range and who share Facebook interests — so theoretically you have something in common. Unlike Tinder, it only matches you with up to three people per day, so you’re not scrolling through an endless sea of photos.

And when you are matched with someone, it lets you chat with that person, but at first, only shows you a fuzzed-out version of their Facebook profile pic. You can choose to reveal your names and photos to each other if the chat goes well, so the app’s motto is, “Flirt first, reveal later.”

Plus, Twine is committed to cutting down on the spam and fake profiles that populate a lot of similar apps, by instituting a couple of restrictions: Women and men must join the app in equal numbers (you’ll go on a waitlist if your gender is over-represented), and you must use your actual Facebook profile photo, so you can’t upload any old photo that isn’t you.

Twine is launching on both iOS and Android, and it’s being incubated within the company Sourcebits, the San Francisco-based firm that’s created and worked on mobile apps for companies like Coke or Twitpic.

It’s possible that people downloading hookup apps are shallow or photo-focused, and don’t want to have meaningful conversations with strangers. But Ann Friedman wrote a great article for The New Yorker called “Overwhelmed and Creeped Out” that talked about why women aren’t flocking to dating apps the way men are, and it has to do with being flooded with messages and creepy pics of strangers. While apps like Tinder seems to have overcome this apprehension among ladies, it’s still an interesting nut to crack as the market for these hookup apps keeps growing.

And let’s say you’re matched with someone, but you have no idea what to talk with them about? Twine pulls in the other person’s Facebook interests, and has a particular feature that will auto-suggest questions for you to ask that person based on the interests. It’s called “Intelligent Conversation Enhancer.” Seriously. But while it sounds like a Silicon Valley geek’s approach to social interaction, the auto-suggested questions weren’t terrible.

As for the replies, you’re on your own crafting those.

  1. triwhileblack Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    “But there’s no denying that it also feels kind of shallow.”

    The name of one of the apps is Bang with Friends. Its not pretending to be Sunday afternoon at the Louvre.

    Share
    1. Hah, exactly. Which is why I think there’s room for other types of apps…

      Share
      1. Gabriel Christos Wednesday, October 9, 2013

        Hi Eliza check me out on facebook.. Gabriel Christos

        Share
  2. “… create an experience that’s focused on conversation rather than looks”

    We are talking about humans here. The first thing we notice about someone we meet for the first time is how they look, unless a person is blind.

    Share
    1. Sure, but you could also find some really hot people on Tinder who you have nothing in common with. Not saying this approach is for everybody, but I think it’s interesting.

      Share
  3. John Helfrich Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    Seems cool–definitely a crowded space. Don’t waste your time on the queue, you can just invite a friend of the opposite sex and your in.

    Share
  4. I’ve actually been using the Twine app and it’s pretty cool You don’t have to be on it to try and meet your next husband you could actually make some pretty interesting new friends. Just give it a try. You never know, you might like it.

    Share
  5. Sanjay Sharma Friday, August 9, 2013

    go for chat4snap a fast growing android application that connects people around the world with self destructing photos like you do in snapchat .

    Share
  6. I tried the app but is not working in indoor locations.

    Share
  7. i’v been using this app n today was the first time i came across a raise issue . i mean it’s cool chatting with random people with every intent on just talking but when they say oh your black i don’t think ……etc well its kinda nerve racking that in this day n age still its like a surprise or something

    Share
  8. Religion? Which way to go

    Share
  9. Gabriel Christos Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    SINGLE MAN HERE LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT WOMAN… YOU CAN VCHECK ME OUT ON FACEBOOK AND SEE IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ME OR TEXT ME AND I WILL CALL YOU BACK.. I AM GABRIEL JUST TEXT AND TELL ME YOU ARE FROM THIS WEBSITE SO THAT I CAN KNOW WHOS TEXTING.. 347-674-7276

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post