The unique features of mobile phone have made online dating even more convenient. Compare to the PC era, mobile phone is an extension of human body, and we can be for sure that at the end of the phone is another real person. Mobile internet with its SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) characteristics, become a perfect tool for location based social activities, including dating.
1. Visual attraction is the first element for matching
For dating app, developers normally integrate AI-based algorithms to conduct smarter matches based on many points from hobbies, location, age, favorite food, sports, or even more psychological analysis. I tried some other dating site before when I was still single, some sites even ask users to fill out many questionnaires, which is part of the registration process, by doing that, they can provide a so called “better matching”. Unfortunately, I either filled out without even actually looking into the questions, or just quit my registration in the middle of the process.
No matter how, visual attraction is still the first impression and starting point for people to pay attention to a stranger. So this is the reason that for the first page of Guteday app, it is a grid of profile images. Of course, users can also switch to list view, profile image is still an important part of the brief for each person. After Guteday, when I saw Tinder, the pictures of each user have been even exaggerated as the main and most significant element for people to make a decision, either like or dislike. I cannot agree more that visual was the first Determinants and should be put as the most important algorithm factor.
Users can choose to only view male or female, or filter to customize more specifications, e.g. distance range, age range, etc. When look into each person’s profile page, the carousel photos can also be enlarged as full screen when click on anyone of them.
2. Distance brings many possibilities
There was an old saying, a friend indeed is a friend in need. But actually, the truth sometimes is, a friend indeed is a friend in neighborhood. Long distance is a nature enemy of friendship; the closer in physical distance we are, the more interactions we may have with each other, hence tend to build a much closer relationship.
Considering this fact, the distance between has been marked along with the profile info as well. Of course, for privacy concern, users can always choose to turn off their location info at their settings.
Distance brings many possibilities. Hence a matched couple can date at a local coffee shop or meet at the bar, instead of long distance and missing each other. People can also search by location. For example, one is going to travel to another city, so he or she can start to make local contacts at the destination even before his/her trip started.
3. People comes with a purpose when social
When people want to get to know a stranger, he/she normally has a purpose in mind. Even just for dating, different people may even have different purpose in mind. Some may just want a simple hook up; some may want to build a long term relationship; some may want a sugar daddy; some may want a soul mate… People normally either seek for something/someone; or offering something/some services. So the purpose of each person, is also an important fact for matching algorithm. At users’ profile page, Guteday app asks users to fill out their purpose on this app, what he/she is seeking for or offering, hence better matching can be provided.
4. User profile make users more real
User profile enriches an online user. Even though the online world is virtual, but the more details we know about that person, the fuller we feel about that person, the more real it seems to be, even though that profile might be a make-up one.
Name is the first important part. When signing up, we tend to ask users’ name by first name and last name, this may encourage users to fill in a real name. If only one box to fill in, then users may just randomly fill in a popular name like Jack, David, Mary, Jean, and so on. Every user has a user ID, which can be a random number the system assigned to them, or users can also customize a unique ID. A unique ID make users easier to find each other.
Besides, at Guteday, we also allow users to fill in company and position info. For some people, who like to build a serious relationship, or someone who actually seek to meet other professionals in the local area, this info may add credibility.
5. Follow is one direction action
In social media, a follow means a user would like to keep updated with another user's activities. Follows are different from likes and shares. Likes mean user find some content interesting; shares mean user would like others in his/her circle to know. But a follow means his/her interest in receiving time to time updates.
Follow is a one direction action, which means, A can follow B, but B may not follow A, but follow C. Mutual follow means a much higher interest and more things in common. So different privileges may be assigned to different level of following. E.g. in Guteday, voice communication can only be enabled between mutual followed parties. Voice messages or a voice call may become a disturb and annoying between strangers, but if the parties are mutual followed, then such feeling of disturb may become much less.
6. Collaborating experience strengthen the friendship
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Collaboration as the ability “to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something.” Through collaboration, we may achieve good relationship besides a finished project together.
With this understanding in mind, besides providing many collaborating tools like voice call, video call, share images and locations, etc. Guteday app also allow users to draw an image together. Of course they can also add more person into the chat.
By collaborating together on one image project, more trust can be established. Guteday helps users to establish open and effective communication, and finally collaboration. Image has a special function, which express more visually. With such features, people may become much easier to start more communication and interaction, and build a reliable relationship.
7. Import old friends enhance engagement
Many dating apps may avoid importing users’ current contacts, but Guteday did it differently. Just think about it, how many contacts in your Facebook account are still a totally stranger? How many contacts in your email address book you have not actually meet yet? How many contacts in your phone book you are still not quite familiar with? These contacted “strangers” or “half strangers” may actually have a better credibility, and may tend to build a long term relationship together, but no such tools are helping to activate them yet.
After importing/inviting those contacts into Guteday, besides sort them by alphabet, users can also sort their contacts by location or time. When sort by location, then we get to know which Facebook or Email list friends is in town and close by now and we can hang out for some beer or coffee. When sorting by time, which will be based on the newest updates, or the latest/frequently contacted. Just by providing such new ways of sorting, we make the contact page live.
According to a survey from SurveyMonkey, there are about 25 percent of people have used or are using online dating services. And this number increases to over 30% if it is for young and middle aged adults (18-44 years old). But still there is no any dating site or app can meet everyone’s unique needs. How to provide the best matching based on better algorithm, and smartly consider personalized situation and purpose, there are still many studies and approaches can be tried.