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Meet Willow, the Dating App That Won’t Judge You By The Appearance

You will find a complete large amount of apps available on the market now for young people looking for love: Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid, to call a couple of. Though their rationales vary—Tinder and Bumble are both in regards to the swipe, but on Bumble, ladies result in the move that is first in accordance with OkCupid you are able to get a handle on simply how much information you reveal up front—they all have one or more thing in common: Possible mates judge each other considering appearance.

But Willow, a brand new software striking the App shop on Wednesday, is looking for an approach that is different. As opposed to swiping left or right in line with the first selfie the thing is, you’re prompted to resolve a couple of three questions—written by users—that are made to spark a conversation up. What’s more, users decide when and in case they would like to share pictures along with other users; to start with, the responses to these concerns are typical dates that are future.

The app’s creator Michael Bruch claims Willow places the “social” back in social media marketing. Bruch, now 24, ended up being fresh away from ny University as he launched the application year that is last. He says he had been looking to fill a void he noticed when working with dating apps that centered on swipes in place of that which you like.

“You can match with a lot of individuals you think are good searching you don’t really understand much about them unless you start conversing with them,” Bruch tells TIME. “If I’m going to invest time with somebody I would like to understand me. that individuals have one thing to talk about–that’s what’s crucial to”

Bruch is hoping that same desire for conversation is essential to many other teenagers too. To date, Willow has gained some traction. A day over 100,000 users downloaded the beta version of the app that launched in August, sending an average of three messages.

What’s more, people are using it for over simply finding love. “It’s be much more about social breakthrough than strictly dating,” Bruch says. You can, and you may additionally make use of it to spark up an intimate discussion with someone that is significantly less than 30 kilometers away.“If you need to log in to an have actually a casual discussion about video games”

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The version of the application released also includes a “Discover” feature that helps users search what’s trending and better sort christian mingle founder through questions they’d be interested in answering wednesday.

It’s an approach that is interesting the sensed shallow nature of today’s millennials—the Me Generation, as TIME’s Joel Stein pronounced in 2013. Today’s dating apps appear to feed to their internal narcissists. And it also’s much easier to make someone down based on simply their face instead of when you’ve started up a discussion. To see how users reacted to profiles without pictures, OkCupid among the biggest internet dating sites, hid profile pictures temporarily in January of 2013 dubbing it “Blind Date Day.” They discovered that their members had been greatly predisposed to answer very first communications through that time, however the moment the pictures had been turned straight right back on, conversations ended–like they’d “turned from the bright lights in the club at midnight,” wrote one Chris Rudder, among the site’s founders.

Some millennials are finding that the pressure of putting your face out there for the public to judge can be intimidating—and in some instances, dangerous despite that somewhat depressing result. Just one single glimpse at the jerky messages published into the Instagram account Bye Felipe (which aggregates negative communications ladies have online) gives an excellent sense of exactly how discouraging it could be for many individuals, but especially for ladies, attempting to navigate for the reason that space that is visual. Individuals could be aggressive, fetishizing, and downright cruel.

Apps like Bumble look for to aid females circumvent that by placing the energy of striking up discussion in solely inside their arms. But Willow would like to entirely change the focus, through the means some body appears from what his / her passions are. “If your photo isn’t being blasted on the market, the actual quantity of harassment and messages you’re likely to get the break off will likely be reduced,” Bruch claims.

On its area, the app’s mission sounds just like a cheesy line from the rom-com: a hapless sap whining that they want somebody would simply take fascination with their ideas rather than their appearance. But, Bruch and Willow’s other founders are hoping it offers carved a location on the list of wide variety apps that focus on the millennial life that is generation’s.