Chappy combats online dating ‘stigma’

Before the internet, many people growing up would leave their parents or graduate from university and flock to the bigger cities to meet like-minded people in LGBT bars, clubs or saunas. But with discrimination and stigma decreasing in many western nations, specifically gay venues and neighbourhoods are fast losing their appeal.

Many people are using their apps while at a bar or club as a way to meet people. Dating apps are not only about sex, says Jack Rogers, co-founder of Chappy. Many find the gleaming muscles on Grindr or the voluminous beards on Scruff intimidating. Chappy is still a way to meet people, but offers the choice between meeting for a potential relationship or casual hookups. The app, launched earlier this year, now has , monthly active users in both the US and the UK and is looking to expand globally.

There is no area of business, society or life which technology is not upending. This report looks at the fullest range, from gold mining in Russia to gay bars in London. Choose your FT trial. Russian miner Polyus turns tech into gold. Artificial intelligence is guiding venture capital to start-ups. P2P currency exchanges continue cash revolution. The parallels between these two dating app big guns Grindr and Tinder are starting to look uncanny.

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And given the increasing reputation of Tinder as a hook-up app, straight users could soon experience the downsides of sex-focused dating. A recent study, presented at the American Psychological Association, suggested that dating apps specifically Tinder can reduce self-esteem and creating a negative perception of body image. Interestingly, the results showed that men were just as affected by women, if not more.

While this study was Tinder-specific, the disturbing impact of its long-term use is similar to what Dan has already seen in the gay world. Whereas Karina sees the solution in diversifying with non app-based activities, Dan thinks that the onus is on the app creators themselves.

Think before you swipe, skip the exhausting game playing and drop the indifferent attitude.

Meeting a fellow human being should be exciting — just like you, they have a sack full of beautiful experiences and life stories to tell. Talk to the guy or gal next to you at yoga practice, in the gym, or at the bar. Pay strangers compliments, regardless of their age, their sex or whether you find them attractive. As tawdry as it sounds, it really is infectious. They're a trusted name for a reason. POF's advertising isn't as aimed toward the younger crowd as OkCupid's "Hey, we're gay" billboards are, so POF's audience is slightly skewed with a more mature audience.

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Plenty of Fish is one of the older sites out there, and its aesthetic honestly looks like it hasn't been updated since The website isn't very intuitive or nice to look at, but we'll ignore that the iOS and Android apps are much better looking than the desktop version. The matchmaking process is super in-depth: Aside from the usual questions about age, height, body type, etc.

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Of course, you'll also write a bio and add pictures as well. They really want to get to know you. Launched in just a year before OkCupid , Plenty of Fish has been an extremely strong player in the online dating game and has one of the highest number of daily users over 3.

Chemistry is the name of the game here, and the multiple questionnaires are no joke. This isn't a quick five-second set up like other apps, as POF truly wants you to dig deep so that they can give you the best quality matches. Not only does POF attempt to match you with people who you'll statistically get along with based on answers to questions, it also wants to match you with people who are looking for the same thing as you. In the "meeting goals" section, you'll specify whether you're looking for something long term, looking to date but nothing serious, etc. That's eliminating awkward "What are we" conversations and setting you up for success by pairing you with people with similar priorities.

It's not bisexual friendly. Bisexual erasure is one of the most common letdowns we've seen across any dating site. A site with the M. Somehow, this isn't hurting POF's numbers at all, but it's something to consider if you're looking for both. POF is free to register and most of the must-have features are free, which is rare. Hinge Hinge will help you get to know the other person more deeply than any new app has attempted. Free More Matches Per Day: We'll start off by saying that Hinge refers to itself as the "The Relationship App," but our personal favorite self-proclaimed nickname is the "anti Tinder.

Instead of basing matches solely off location, Hinge takes your Facebook and will only match you with friends of friends. So if you're tired of meeting really weird randos who are not who they say they are , Hinge wants to aid in pairing people who have mutual friends. You scroll and judge people off of pictures and small bios like you would on Tinder or Bumble, but it doesn't deserve to be thrown in the "sketchy hookup app" category. Hinge's recent makeover that caused it to explode with popularity brings a professional new look to previously swipe-only dating apps.

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It's literally like scrolling through Instagram, and there are no dead ends from a wrong swipe. Hinge's CEO Justin McLeod has said that it's like "Instagram profiles for dating," and that beta testing has seen five times more conversation that it did when Hinge was a swiping app.

Not swiping one by one is seriously nice if you're making the jump from Tinder, and seeing a few matches in your daily batch gives you more time to consider options without making split decisions. Hinge requires Facebook syncing and imports things like pictures, last names, as well as relationship status as a way to weed out cheaters or straight couples looking for threesomes. To avoid people swiping at the speed of light and going through everyone in their area in an hour, Hinge starts out by only giving you seven matches per day.

That can increase to 15 if you invite more friends to use the app, but this is Hinge's way of slowing down the process and making it less about finding a quick hookup. Aside from a bio, every user answers icebreakers that are featured on their profiles, giving anyone who wants to message them an easy in at thinking of a creative and relevant opening line.

AKA you won't have to text a screenshot to your friends asking if your first message to someone is okay.

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Hinge wants to encourage more early conversation, which in turn leads to more meeting IRL. While Hinge started out as an app that shows you Facebook friends of friends, their algorithm has been getting smarter and smarter, and is now able to surpass friends of friends as a predictor of compatibility — so you won't be matched with someone horrendous just because you know the same person. Rather, Hinge will help you get to know the other person more deeply than any new app has attempted, by revealing answers to juicy personality questions and detailed information like future plans, religion, and vices.

Seems like a pretty good recipe for a strong connection past looks, right? Plus, because you have a mutual connection, a double date with your mutual friend and someone else is a fun and not-so-nerve-wracking way to meet for the first time and could get things off the ground faster.


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Unlike Tinder and Bumble, which seem to have a broken gaydar, Hinge won't throw random guys into your feed when you've selected women only. The exclusivity is definitely annoying, but Hinge's encouragement to actually talk to the other person to find out information gives you a way to smooth out discrepancies right off the bat. Hinge is free to download and the basic features you'll need like messaging and matching are free. Bumble Bumble stands out for letting you "backtrack" and insisting you message your matches within 24 hours. Again, Bumble is mostly hetero focused, but that doesn't mean it's completely worthless for the queer women of the world.


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For hetero matches, Bumble is known for their "girls have to message first rule," but that obviously doesn't apply to woman-woman matches. But here's where the helpful part comes in: Bumble requires you to message within the first 24 hours, so if you're tired of looking at a list of Tinder or OkCupid matches from six months ago and actually want to force yourself to get to know people, this could be a good comfort zone pusher.

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Bumble's yellow color scheme makes the app look serene and low pressure, which is a great start to users who are worried about feeling completely overwhelmed. Similar to Tinder, you'll see pictures and short bios of potential matches in your area and can swipe right if you're interested and left if you're not. You'll get a similar amount of information to what Tinder will give you in a similar setup.

You've probably also experienced the anxiety that comes with accidentally swiping left on a person who you wanted to swipe right for. Up to three times a day without paying , Bumble will allow you to "Backtrack" and bring back the last user you saw simply by giving your phone a shake. Someone literally has to message within 24 hours, or the match goes away.

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So if anything, it pushes you out of your comfort zone and could give you a serious confidence boost when you start getting responses from those first messages.