Online dating not for you? We may be able to change your mind…
The dread I get in my stomach when I think about going on a first date with someone I met on a dating app is the same one I get when I think about taking my driving test—mostly because I failed it. It’s mostly the pressure of having to make a good impression, whether it be competently operating a vehicle (which, again, I can’t do), or making jokes, drinking wine and being ‘physical’—on the date I mean. Not your driving test. And that’s mostly because going out with someone I met online is new, exciting but also very very scary.
Internet dating has certainly taken a new technological turn and has migrated from desktop to smartphone in the past couple of years (see the birth of Tinder). Developers quickly figured out that they could exploit smartphone features such as location tracking, frictionless snap-and-send photography and the always-on bantering of messaging software to create a less formal experience than web-based sites. Not to mention, dating apps are free.
Easy to use and slick appealing design make dating apps more often than not like a game – these apps provide not just a connective launch pad but a source of entertainment.
So when it comes to finding a dating app for those who are single and ready to mingle, there are plenty of fish— and by that we mean dating apps—in the sea. It is, however, a challenge to find the right one. If you’re single, you’re probably on one of the myriad of apps out there, and if you’re happily coupled up, chances are you’ve probably helped your single girlfriends swipe left and right through the reams of desirable, and not so desirable, potential dates.
Dating apps are fun, don’t get me wrong, but flawed in several ways. First off, they’re addictive. The game-style of dating apps makes it hard to quit swiping, double tapping, or declining prospective love interests, and you can easily find yourself doing so for hours on end. Second, and most importantly, they’re creepy. As fun as they can be, it’s too easy to receive unwanted (and distasteful) attention.
“Women have been put off by online dating because too many deceptive, weirdos or deviant males are trying relentlessly to get in contact with as many women as they can. Active women simply don’t have time to filter out all the inadequate profiles, not to mention the very unpleasant feeling to be checked out or tracked or even harassed by distasteful guys,” say the founders of Spotzle, the UK’s first female-led dating app.
The Spotzle founders addressed this issue by simply preventing men from making the first move, and therefore sending unpleasant messages or pictures. “However, this was only solving half of the problem since lots of women don’t like to do the first move, sending our concept into a dead end.”
They then came up with a feature where women can “unlock” a male, thus authorising the user to make a move. “In other words, a woman can either contact with a male directly—and start a conversation—or allow the man to start the conversation.” Ditch or date, the choice is yours.
In this day and age it’s naïve to believe we’re still entitled to privacy as Smartphone owners, so although geolocation shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, many users are still put off by such a feature. The Spotzle founders saw potential in this, and used it to their advantage.
“We all know how powerful geolocation is but we were both alarmed how intrusive and privacy negligent it can be,” they explain. “We realised geolocation was well used by existing dating apps, however we wanted to fill the gap related to privacy protection, and to create an app that allowed women a level of protection and privacy that was not currently offered by any other dating app on the market.”
“The main danger [of dating apps] comes from geolocation. Most apps give too much information about your exact location, thus potentially allowing males not only to harass women by chat or mail but also to track them down physically.” The recent scandals involving Uber prove that point exactly. “Spotzle has taken this issue seriously, hence why we are “shifting” the real location of the user to a near spot. This allows us to fully use the power of geolocation without giving up on privacy.”
Dating apps in general make life a little easier for busy women. Who has the time to go out and socialize all the time when we’re busy building a career? But you still have to take the time to field all the prospective encounters.
On Spotzle, users have the ability to “follow” their targets and get notified when one of them enter their zone in real time. The app is essentially doing the hard job for you to make your life easier.
“Spotzle’s “protection concept” not only focuses exclusively on women but more generally on all users’ location protection, brought by the spots geolocation. The spots location is totally new and differentiates us from all other dating apps. Spots are at the centre of the app: users leaves traces, get notifications, or can also be a new ways to generate traffic. On Spotzle, users have the ability to “follow” their targets, whether they are inside or outside of their particular zone, thereby putting no geographical restrictions on locations. Users can get notified when a target or connection is in their zone, in real time.”
Slightly stalkerish? Admittedly, yes. But it’s not any different from apps such as Tinder and Happn.
“For women who are too shy to make the first move, just unlock your target to let him connect with you. It enables you to only be contacted by the men you decide to in the first place (« unlock concept »), without being hassled by those you are not interested in.” Just remember—the choice is always yours.
Ditch or date, the option is yours with Spotzle: the first UK dating app to put us gals in control!