A French startup has created an app called “Feels,” which is supposed to spice dating up by ditching the swipes ubiquitous to dating apps for short videos in the style of Instagram Stories and TikTok clips, TechCrunch reports. The creators behind Feels firmly believe that swiping is tedious and say Feels is all about "anti-boring discovery," "anti-boring profiles," and "anti-boring icebreakers." (That said, you’ll still have to swipe through clips to find your lover.)
If this all sounds very Gen Z (or at least very targeted at that demographic) you’re not wrong. The Feels landing page is replete with Boomerang-style video clips, animated emoji stickers, and explosions of pastel hues.
Anyone familiar with digital dating apps will know that Feels' spin on digital dating is an obvious dig (or swipe, if you like) at existing apps like Tinder, Bumble, Happn, Hinge, and OkCupid, which witnessed astronomic jumps in their respective user bases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its playful jabs at icebreakers, for example, appear to be indirectly aimed at how Hinge will have users answer random questions about their hobbies, pet peeves, philosophies, and then use that information to try and present candidates users are more likely to match with.
On Bumble, users have the opportunity to answer questions about how they were described as students, whether they would choose mountains or beaches, and that sort of thing. On Feels, profiles, swipes, and icebreakers get the chop. The app focuses entirely on TikTok-style videos users can slap stickers and texts on, and which they can use to answer personality-based questions for a better look at their lifestyle, hobbies, and proclivities.
Onboarding blues — So far the app has 100,000 users, with the stated ambition of growing that tenfold to one million by the end of 2021. Its target market is France, at the moment, with plans to broaden its audience down the line. To unlock premium features, there's a subscription fee of $9.49 per week, The Verge points out.
Despite heralding itself as anti-anything-tiresome-and-dull, Feels has witnessed onboarding issues. As TechCrunch reports, it takes about 15 minutes to create a profile. Initially, only 30 percent of new users completed the process. This is understandable, given how quick and easy it is to set up profiles on rival dating services. Plus, 15 minutes when you’re from generation TikTok can feel like an eternity.
Nonetheless, thanks to some tweaks and growing interest in the app, TechCrunch reports that now 75 percent of users complete the signup process. We can’t imagine spending 15 minutes trying to create the sorts of videos about ourselves we’d want strangers to see, but then, we also don’t have an existing selection of videos of ourselves close at hand. Perhaps this is the perfect dating app for influencers, though, who doubtless have plenty of carefully curated clips ready to go.