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Idea feedback - dating site with a different approach

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Idea threads

The Hun

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Feb 4, 2016
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I recently came out of a relationship and many years later I returned to the world of online dating apps. I'm not a super hoy guy but I'm not ugly either, I've had my fair amount of success with women through my life. However, I had a huge disappointment when joining these apps and starting the journey.

Initially I was getting some matches, but 90% of them would never bother to reply, no matter how funny/sharp/insightful my opener was. Of the rest, about half would ghost after just a few messages. So I ended up with just a few active matches. Of these, one turned out to be a con artist that created an incredible story to end up asking money from me (luckily I made a reverse image search and found out that she was stealing pictures from another woman), and the rest ended up in a real date in which I found out that they looked nothing like their pictures (highly photoshopped or very old).

And finally, after some time I depleted the dating pool and now I hardly get any more profiles to swipe at all.

Initially I thought that maybe I just became too old and/or unattractive for this but after sharing my experience with some friends they told me they went through more or less the same process. Also many people posting on online forums share the same experience, and the consensus is that:
- the hottest 5-10% of guys get most of the attention
- any woman will have dozens of matches in a few minutes as most guys tend to just like all the profiles without screening them
- many women (especially the hot ones) don't go there to hook up with anyone (except maybe one of the top 5% guys), only to get an ego boost or to spend their idle time
- if you are in the bottom 50%, or I would even dare say 70%, of guys you will have extremely low chances of ever getting anywhere as you will be competing with 10+ guys for each average woman
- there are plenty of fake profiles (either scammers or bots created to make you pay)
- overall, without the proper mindset it can be an experience that drains self-esteem and brings along serious depression to many people

I tried Tinder, Bumble, YouLove, Badoo, Facebook Dating and a few others, some I paid for premium and some I didn't, but there was not much difference in the end result. Maybe there are some better ones out there that I didn't try but I didn't really feel like going any further as they all seem to follow roughly the same philosophy.

I know for a fact that for most people (including myself) meeting someone in real life dating will always outweigh the online experience. But it's also true that modern life excludes way too many people from these opportunities because of time or location constraints, so there is definitely a NEED for an app that actually works and brings results to the average or below-average guys.

My ideas after a bit of brainstorming:
- A "social credit" system for users that will increase or decrease according to their behavior. For example, a guy that swipes right quickly on all women or a women that won't speak with a match will see their credit decrease.
- Offering a certified photo service where a local photographer could take some high quality pics and at the same time make you earn a badge indicating that your photos are real and recent (higher credit score).
- Organizing virtual fast dating events where you're randomly (or using a certain algorithm based on interests, location, social credit, etc.) matched on a 10 minute video session with someone and during that time you can get the attention of that person and decide with some criteria whether you actually want to meet them irl.
- Organizing local social meetups for different activities where people can simply gather and have fun.

What is your experience with these apps? What would you like to see as a user?

I am also very interested in the experience from a woman's perspective. What would make you happy and make you want to use such an app for more than just randomly looking at guys when you're bored?
 
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SEBASTlAN

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Some of these ideas have already been tried. It doesn't mean you can't succeed at it. The major problem I believe is that guys outnumber girls on these apps so it's always going to be a needle in the haystack kind of thing for you.
 

The Hun

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Feb 4, 2016
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Some of these ideas have already been tried. It doesn't mean you can't succeed at it. The major problem I believe is that guys outnumber girls on these apps so it's always going to be a needle in the haystack kind of thing for you.
According to Statista, there is certainly more male users but the difference is not that huge.

Captura de pantalla 2022-05-26 a las 11.06.52.png

I believe the largest imbalance lays not so much in the number but in the approach. Much like in real life, any woman who is not extremely ugly will get hit on by many guys, while guys who are not in the top 5% or so will need to make the active effort.

Also, basic biology has us wired in different ways. Men are much less selective than women, who end up with hundreds of requests and they are unable to evaluate them all individually. And men end up chatting and meeting any woman who has given them some attention and end up with someone they don't have anything in common with.

In real life, you get a shot and if you're witty and know how to play your cards you can obtain some results, while online you're just one more in the list and you can't do much more to stand out than write some witty text messages (and I'm pretty sure your competitors are also trying that) with your nonverbal communication skills completely out of the game.

I believe the key is to make the online experience more life-like. Get back to the roots and allow a more objective screening of a potential partner, get his/her undivided attention for at least a short while and decide with more criteria whether he/she is suitable or not.
 

SamRussell

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You want to make a dating app that makes it easier for the average / below average guys to get a date... ?

How are you going to sell that to the women joining the app?
 
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Hong_Kong

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- A "social credit" system for users that will increase or decrease according to their behavior. For example, a guy that swipes right quickly on all women or a women that won't speak with a match will see their credit decrease.
I haven't used any of these apps personally, but I am fairly certain the algorithms behind these apps have some of this already.

Maybe there is another way of adding a fun twist to the experience.

It seems easier to sell a solution to those guys you described. If they are having trouble with online dating, a guide: "Online dating for the 99%: How to find matches when you aren't anything special"

It seems like you found the real pain-point.
 

DatingKit

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May 27, 2022
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Do you have the funding to build a dating app? And then the marketing funding?
Have you considered how to go from zero to thousands of love-seekers? People that join a dating site only to find 2 or 3 matches within a 500-mile area leave within a few seconds, so how will you stop so much churn?

I only ask this because we are a dating company and have seen people like you, and big brands create dating sites and spend $hundreds of thousands on building great apps they think are different and then hit the exact same roadblocks and they go under within 6 months and all their investor's cash went with it.

We actually had one company approach us for advice because they built a slick app where your friend would log in and swipe your love interests for you, and observe the conversations along with you so acting like a "wingman", and they couldn't understand why their app (that cost them £250,000 to build using investor cash) had barely turned over £1,500 in 6 months. When we took a look, they had 500,000 users worldwide and from what we could tell, only 1% were making an effort to message anyone, and of those, most of them were trying to arrange a date with someone over 300 miles or more away, often in different countries, due to the limitations of how many were local to them.
Worse still, they were offering a monthly subscription for unlimited messages and out of 500,000 users, only 3 of them paid for the second month.
Suffice to say, they didn't take our advice and instead felt asking investors for more marketing capital and throwing another £500,000 into an advertising campaign would help, but they never saw their 1 year anniversary and had shut down when we last checked, presumably along with all that investment.

My point is that unless you think like a business and as a dating site owner with logistical challenges that you need to overcome, you will not succeed. To say "I have been on a dating site and failed, and then thought why not call it something unique like coffee dating" and expect it to take off and cover its own development, hosting and advertising costs, let alone pay you any money, is the equivalent of saying you are going to buy a lotto ticket and are convinced it will win big.

There are much, much cheaper ways and much better ways to create a dating site and make money from it than using investors and spending ridiculous amounts of money and if you want to reach out any time we would love to help you with getting you set up to go. We can even help you achieve it for the cost of a domain name in some circumstances as we have the platform, and the expertise and have taken care of most of these challenges that big brands struggle to overcome.
If you would prefer to go it alone and build and run it yourself please do your research into what really goes into creating a dating site and more importantly, ask yourself how you are going to solve:
- Getting people to stay on an empty site when you don't yet have millions of people on it.
- How you will host a growing dating site.
- How you will handle taking payments.
- How you will handle moderating thousands of pieces of content a day.
- How you will offer customer support.
- Who is going to fix your site when it breaks or adds new features to it when users grow bored.
 

AppMan

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- A "social credit" system for users that will increase or decrease according to their behavior. For example, a guy that swipes right quickly on all women or a women that won't speak with a match will see their credit decrease.
- Offering a certified photo service where a local photographer could take some high quality pics and at the same time make you earn a badge indicating that your photos are real and recent (higher credit score).
- Organizing virtual fast dating events where you're randomly (or using a certain algorithm based on interests, location, social credit, etc.) matched on a 10 minute video session with someone and during that time you can get the attention of that person and decide with some criteria whether you actually want to meet them irl.
- Organizing local social meetups for different activities where people can simply gather and have fun.
You are talking from man perspective, women on the other hand want the least interaction , because they have too many choices and they are too picky to skip any one for any sign of negativity.
Many dating website trying to do things to encourage women to interact more with men so men will not leave , but nothing can work , now dating websites create bots to talk to men in order to keep them active on the website .
 
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The Hun

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Feb 4, 2016
22
15
Germany
You want to make a dating app that makes it easier for the average / below average guys to get a date... ?

How are you going to sell that to the women joining the app?
Do all women really want a top 5-10% guy (I'm speaking only in terms if physical attraction, the rest you can't really infer from just a few pictures)? Are there realistically enough top 5-10% guys for every woman out there?
 

The Hun

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Feb 4, 2016
22
15
Germany
I haven't used any of these apps personally, but I am fairly certain the algorithms behind these apps have some of this already.

Maybe there is another way of adding a fun twist to the experience.

It seems easier to sell a solution to those guys you described. If they are having trouble with online dating, a guide: "Online dating for the 99%: How to find matches when you aren't anything special"

It seems like you found the real pain-point.

I know they already use algorithms internally, but my twist would be to make this public so people can actually try to game it and get a higher score by following certain rules.

There are dozens of online dating guides and e-books out there, I don't know if any of the authors has found the secret sauce but it definitely isn't a novelty.
 

The Hun

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Feb 4, 2016
22
15
Germany
Do you have the funding to build a dating app? And then the marketing funding?
Have you considered how to go from zero to thousands of love-seekers? People that join a dating site only to find 2 or 3 matches within a 500-mile area leave within a few seconds, so how will you stop so much churn?

I only ask this because we are a dating company and have seen people like you, and big brands create dating sites and spend $hundreds of thousands on building great apps they think are different and then hit the exact same roadblocks and they go under within 6 months and all their investor's cash went with it.

We actually had one company approach us for advice because they built a slick app where your friend would log in and swipe your love interests for you, and observe the conversations along with you so acting like a "wingman", and they couldn't understand why their app (that cost them £250,000 to build using investor cash) had barely turned over £1,500 in 6 months. When we took a look, they had 500,000 users worldwide and from what we could tell, only 1% were making an effort to message anyone, and of those, most of them were trying to arrange a date with someone over 300 miles or more away, often in different countries, due to the limitations of how many were local to them.
Worse still, they were offering a monthly subscription for unlimited messages and out of 500,000 users, only 3 of them paid for the second month.
Suffice to say, they didn't take our advice and instead felt asking investors for more marketing capital and throwing another £500,000 into an advertising campaign would help, but they never saw their 1 year anniversary and had shut down when we last checked, presumably along with all that investment.

My point is that unless you think like a business and as a dating site owner with logistical challenges that you need to overcome, you will not succeed. To say "I have been on a dating site and failed, and then thought why not call it something unique like coffee dating" and expect it to take off and cover its own development, hosting and advertising costs, let alone pay you any money, is the equivalent of saying you are going to buy a lotto ticket and are convinced it will win big.

There are much, much cheaper ways and much better ways to create a dating site and make money from it than using investors and spending ridiculous amounts of money and if you want to reach out any time we would love to help you with getting you set up to go. We can even help you achieve it for the cost of a domain name in some circumstances as we have the platform, and the expertise and have taken care of most of these challenges that big brands struggle to overcome.
If you would prefer to go it alone and build and run it yourself please do your research into what really goes into creating a dating site and more importantly, ask yourself how you are going to solve:
- Getting people to stay on an empty site when you don't yet have millions of people on it.
- How you will host a growing dating site.
- How you will handle taking payments.
- How you will handle moderating thousands of pieces of content a day.
- How you will offer customer support.
- Who is going to fix your site when it breaks or adds new features to it when users grow bored.
Thanks, that's a great insight.

I could have the budget to build a prototype but not to go big from the beginning and I would definitely need to look for some additional funding down the road.

I'll send you a PM.
 
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The Hun

New Contributor
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Feb 4, 2016
22
15
Germany
You are talking from man perspective, women on the other hand want the least interaction , because they have too many choices and they are too picky to skip any one for any sign of negativity.
Many dating website trying to do things to encourage women to interact more with men so men will not leave , but nothing can work , now dating websites create bots to talk to men in order to keep them active on the website .
From my understanding and the (limited) research I did with women I know, they are just as frustrated as men with these apps but for different reasons.

They have, as you said, too many choices. You might say "there are never too many choices" but when you just don't have the time to properly screen and evaluate your choices it's not a good thing and you end up with a guy who was maybe the hottest one but that didn't want anything else than a quick hookup and will never call you again. Or maybe he was very hot but then she met him and he was plain dumb or totally incompatible in some way.

My cousin (who is attractive imo but not a top model) showed me her Tinder account once and swiped right about 20 guys in front of me. Every single one of them was a match. Is it really feasible for her to screen and evaluate each and every one of them?
 

DatingKit

New Contributor
May 27, 2022
2
4
Good research is to sign up to a site such as PlentyOfFish as a woman using a decent realistic photograph of her and watch what happens.

As a man, you will usually receive 1-3 introductions a week if you have a really good profile write up designed to attract women.

As a woman, you will probably receive 30-50 introductions an hour regardless of what the profile says.

The reality is that however you talk about social science and wants/needs of members, it all comes down to women don't even have to try, they just open their inbox and see potentially 100 new messages filling the inbox, while men have to proactively seek out and contact women to get any kind of engagement going.

Social science is relatively irrelevant when it comes to dating apps (no matter how much they try and sell it as being so). Women receive an overwhelming amount of messages from men. And men send an overwhelming amount of messages to women that are sexual in nature.

The simplest way to get a woman to like you is to merely contact her with a well written, enjoyable opening sentence of around 50-80 words introducing yourself, and try and inject a little gentle humour and warmth into it. It will immediately stand out from the many, many rude pictures and rude offers that she has received and is proven to be successful regardless of profile picture quality.

To go too deeply into the social science of what men/women want and to spend your investment on building the perfect algorithm to work best with that is a complete waste of time when it just comes down to the basic principle that more men contact women than women contact men, and a large percentage of men just want a sexual experience which a large percentage of women do not want to have from their use of a dating site.

There is a very good reason why the best dating apps use very few scientific algorithms and do well, and the likes of eHarmony who do use them, keep trying to sue/acquire those that don't to find out why they seem to be more successful at it than them.
 

Mammoth

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I met my current girlfriend on Bumble. The experience was fine; I don’t think I’d change anything about it.

Recently we’ve been going to something called Authentic Relating Games in Tulum. There were a bunch of gorgeous women there and if I was single I would’ve gotten a bunch of numbers.

I think what the world needs is more face to face interaction and less digital.
 
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RussRussman18

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Do all women really want a top 5-10% guy (I'm speaking only in terms if physical attraction, the rest you can't really infer from just a few pictures)? Are there realistically enough top 5-10% guys for every woman out there?
Yes (in the west)

No, and therein lies the problem
 

RussRussman18

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From my understanding and the (limited) research I did with women I know, they are just as frustrated as men with these apps but for different reasons.

They have, as you said, too many choices. You might say "there are never too many choices" but when you just don't have the time to properly screen and evaluate your choices it's not a good thing and you end up with a guy who was maybe the hottest one but that didn't want anything else than a quick hookup and will never call you again. Or maybe he was very hot but then she met him and he was plain dumb or totally incompatible in some way.

My cousin (who is attractive imo but not a top model) showed me her Tinder account once and swiped right about 20 guys in front of me. Every single one of them was a match. Is it really feasible for her to screen and evaluate each and every one of them?
You could make the same argument for attractive men. But a multiplicity of dating options will never be a disadvantage
 

RussRussman18

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The long and the short of it is that women are more interested in people vs things, and therefore have more social jobs where they meet more men. Most young women don't have much utility for a dating app. They are well known both anecdotally and in scientific literature to have lower sex drives than men, since they have a much lower net androgenic factor in their body. Men on the other hand, often work in STEM, which is male dominated, or in hard labor, again, male dominated. The only place they would meet women at is the gym. Or at a bar, but bars and clubs are the same situation as dating apps: low ratio of women to men, low quality, etc.. No algorithm can fix this basic reality
 
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AppMan

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Do all women really want a top 5-10% guy (I'm speaking only in terms if physical attraction, the rest you can't really infer from just a few pictures)? Are there realistically enough top 5-10% guys for every woman out there?
there is enough men in 10% category to date (hookup) with 90% of available women. that is why women complain that men doesnt want commitment because usually they are talking about this 10% segment
 

Kevin88660

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I recently came out of a relationship and many years later I returned to the world of online dating apps. I'm not a super hoy guy but I'm not ugly either, I've had my fair amount of success with women through my life. However, I had a huge disappointment when joining these apps and starting the journey.

Initially I was getting some matches, but 90% of them would never bother to reply, no matter how funny/sharp/insightful my opener was. Of the rest, about half would ghost after just a few messages. So I ended up with just a few active matches. Of these, one turned out to be a con artist that created an incredible story to end up asking money from me (luckily I made a reverse image search and found out that she was stealing pictures from another woman), and the rest ended up in a real date in which I found out that they looked nothing like their pictures (highly photoshopped or very old).

And finally, after some time I depleted the dating pool and now I hardly get any more profiles to swipe at all.

Initially I thought that maybe I just became too old and/or unattractive for this but after sharing my experience with some friends they told me they went through more or less the same process. Also many people posting on online forums share the same experience, and the consensus is that:
- the hottest 5-10% of guys get most of the attention
- any woman will have dozens of matches in a few minutes as most guys tend to just like all the profiles without screening them
- many women (especially the hot ones) don't go there to hook up with anyone (except maybe one of the top 5% guys), only to get an ego boost or to spend their idle time
- if you are in the bottom 50%, or I would even dare say 70%, of guys you will have extremely low chances of ever getting anywhere as you will be competing with 10+ guys for each average woman
- there are plenty of fake profiles (either scammers or bots created to make you pay)
- overall, without the proper mindset it can be an experience that drains self-esteem and brings along serious depression to many people

I tried Tinder, Bumble, YouLove, Badoo, Facebook Dating and a few others, some I paid for premium and some I didn't, but there was not much difference in the end result. Maybe there are some better ones out there that I didn't try but I didn't really feel like going any further as they all seem to follow roughly the same philosophy.

I know for a fact that for most people (including myself) meeting someone in real life dating will always outweigh the online experience. But it's also true that modern life excludes way too many people from these opportunities because of time or location constraints, so there is definitely a NEED for an app that actually works and brings results to the average or below-average guys.

My ideas after a bit of brainstorming:
- A "social credit" system for users that will increase or decrease according to their behavior. For example, a guy that swipes right quickly on all women or a women that won't speak with a match will see their credit decrease.
- Offering a certified photo service where a local photographer could take some high quality pics and at the same time make you earn a badge indicating that your photos are real and recent (higher credit score).
- Organizing virtual fast dating events where you're randomly (or using a certain algorithm based on interests, location, social credit, etc.) matched on a 10 minute video session with someone and during that time you can get the attention of that person and decide with some criteria whether you actually want to meet them irl.
- Organizing local social meetups for different activities where people can simply gather and have fun.

What is your experience with these apps? What would you like to see as a user?

I am also very interested in the experience from a woman's perspective. What would make you happy and make you want to use such an app for more than just randomly looking at guys when you're bored?
It would be better business wise if you are targeting a niche problem in the entire ecosystem.

Significant proportion of women do intend to get married and even pretty ones will have their expectation lowered to a more grounded level when they reach the mean age of marriage (25-32) depending on where you live.

The problem is women don’t have trust and cannot afford to waste time, where men just flood their likes on job applicants mass sending their cv to any job openings. So it is kind of messy when you started from a location without any kind of pre-screening.

I was thinking if you start some sort of screening for men minimum height, minimum education level, no drug history, no kids, working in full time job, no crime record.. and screen out the rest. From there you get this pool of men to attract female users who will likely to pay to use this app. After all we know from math and experience of pure market forces that these are the men that women WILL marry, because very hot/rich men are extremely extremely few.

It also helps these men to get a better deal, because these men tend to marry women by life circumstances without putting themselves in the market to test what in the maximum they can get given their quality. In a market that is fundamentally broken (traditional apps) such testing is not possible.
 

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