If you’ve ever spent a night swiping aimlessly through Tinder, or gone on a well-intentioned-yet-ill-informed Bumble date, or wondered at the impressive homogeneity of people’s responses to Hinge prompts (are all men truly overly competitive about “everything”?), then you know that dating apps are imperfect. However, the prospect of finding your perfect match online (whether you like it or not) is becoming increasingly likely: 40% of new marriages today originated with an online meeting. If you, like me, dread the idea of meeting your significant other through the materialistic carousel of swipe-rights, we need to build better dating apps. We owe it to ourselves, and our future hypothetical spouses.
For today’s story, I crowdsourced ideas for a new-and-improved dating app where the sky would be the limit. How can we fix problems like paradox of choice, superficiality, and worries about safety? Let’s see what a few Stanford students had to say. Keep your eyes peeled on our Insta (@marriagepact) to vote for your fave.
“An animal play-date dating app.”
Anyone remember the beginning of One Hundred and One Dalmatians? Cute girl, cute boy, and two cute dogs pulling them together? Maybe we can make that a reality for the pet-owning youth of tomorrow. Not sure how we’d ensure pet-compatibility here (my dog can be kind of a dick).
“Matching through mutual friends.”
This is something I’ve heard quite a few times, and is reminiscent of a newer app to the game, Ship. What if your friends could set you up? I pride myself on being something of a matchmaker, but it can be hard to orchestrate un-awkward set-ups in real life. Maybe an app could help. My current track record is 0/3 with matchmaking my friends, and I’d like to improve that ratio.
“Tinder, but videos.”
An interesting idea: Replace photos with videos. I certainly think you can get a better sense of someone’s vibe and personality through a quick video. This would also raise the bar to entry on a dating app, which might actually be a good thing. (Fewer people swiping aimlessly with no intention of meeting anyone…aka me).
“Tinder, but only words.”
Love is Blind, anyone? A nice idea, though I doubt many people would be willing to give up the chance to stare at photos of their potential lover. Plus we’d probably just Google them instead.
Say you pass by a cute girl in a coffee shop. Maybe she thought you were cute, too. Twenty years ago you might have to go up to her and ask for her number. With this app, you simply open up and have the ability to swipe on users within a 20-foot (or something) radius. If she swipes too, you’ll get each other’s contact information. Just like asking for someone’s number at a coffee shop…but make it Gen Z.
“A Marriage Pact dating app.”
“A speed-dating app.”
This was one of the most fascinating, outside-the-box ideas I heard. You’d have live, Omegle-style sessions: You talk to 20 people for 2 minutes each and at the end, you can request their profiles to learn more about them. If you both request each other, a match is made. And there’s no cycle of mindless texting since you’ve already spoken over video.
Lots of cool ideas here. Got more? Got a burning love (or hate) for any of these? Let us know on Insta or Twitter, @marriagepact.