Swipe left, swipe right. In a world where this simple mechanism is becoming the norm in online dating, Singled Out hopes to be a different kind of dating app.
Left or right, hot or not, sex is at our fingertips 24/7, and if only we could find the right pick-up line it could be all ours. We validate ourselves with high match counts, aiming for quantity over quality, hoping that our yellow umbrella is somewhere out there. As a result, potential partners get lost in a sea of strange “heys” and “sups,” among cheesy pick-up lines and other trivial discourse. With so many matches, and so little content, it can be hard to get to know someone.
“Our overall goal has been this: a structure that relies on social accountability, reflecting what would otherwise happen without the help of cell phones,” Jocelyn Harwood, head of marketing and outreach at Singled Out, wrote in an email. “Technology should help us build relationships, not be the substitute in the way we do it.”
Singled Out is an app that takes a unique approach to online dating by focusing on empowering women. In order to mitigate the amount of creepy messages women constantly receive on online messaging in many dating apps, Singled Out allows the women to handpick which men can message her, and which men cannot. It accomplishes this feat with a simple question-and-answer testing method, whereby a woman asks a certain yes or no question, and can sort through men based on their responses. This effectively decreases match counts, and hopes to generate more quality relationships through common interests in an environment that’s explicitly female friendly.
However, that isn’t to say that the process is completely stripped of vanity. Men still get to choose to answer a girl’s question based on her photo, and likewise, women can choose which guy to “single out” based on his photo.
“The questions are what actually make it possible to create an app where women call the shots,” Harwood wrote. “The women ask the questions and eliminate guys on how they respond.”
The questions might seem trivial at a glance: dog person vs. cat person, Ross and Rachel vs. Cory and Topanga, but in essence they act as talking points for the first few messages. Instead of having to resort to a lame hello or an even lamer pick-up line, the questions can guide conversations in a way that generates a more interesting dialogue.
Singled Out recently completed a successful beta test run at UMass Amherst and is now open to the general public, gearing itself toward college communities. The most obvious question regarding the app is, if the app is tailored toward empowering women, what motivates men to join the community?
According to Harwood, the biggest incentive for men to join Singled Out is the promise of a more meaningful connection. Plenty of guys get matches on Tinder, but much fewer are actually ever successful in taking any of these matches to fruition. Furthermore, they don’t lose that validation they get from apps like Tinder. When a guy is “singled out,” he’s being specially chosen by a girl that actually wants to have a conversation with him. It all boils down to quality over quantity.
While the service is currently running specifically for heterosexual relationships, Singled Out is currently exploring ways to incorporate different coding options to make the app effective for LGBT individuals as well.
Singled Out is still in its infancy, but it’s an interesting new concept to online dating and could potentially be a viable alternative for those tired of conventional dating apps. It’s currently available on the Apple App Store, with an Android version in production.