- Katey Psencik American-Statesman Staff
If you’ve watched season four of Netflix’s “Black Mirror,” then this may be a familiar story: a dating app, but over time, it gets to know you better and better. As it sees the type of people you swipe right on, it catalogs your taste. It looks at the interests you’ve inputted: “Running. Biking. Going to the movies. Traveling.” It gives you matches based on those interests as well as your location. If you don’t act quickly enough, the match expires. And as you match with more people, those matches get a teeny bit more accurate. And then you find “the one.”
That’s what a new Austin dating app aims to do. Dindr says it’ll find you “love at first bite” by combining drinking and dining with elements of popular dating apps like Tinder and Bumble.
You may have heard of Dindr before -- that’s because it originally started in Houston as a food-based app, which allowed you to swipe right or left on photos of food. But this is a whole different level of swiping.
Here’s how it works: Once you build your Dindr profile, you have three chances a day to find matches. At noon, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., you’ll get a 10-minute window to check out potential dates’ profiles and request to match with them (they’ll be doing the same to you). At the end of the window, the app will look at who you’ve matched with, compare your interests and how far away you are from each other, and suggest one match for the day, which will open up a chat window. The app will suggest a meeting time and restaurant, and if plans aren’t made by the start of the next matching round, the match expires and you’ve missed your chance.
Sound like “Black Mirror” yet?
“We hope to provide a strong match experience without simulating your entire experience,” joked Dindr CEO and co-founder Zachary Casler.
Anyone who’s used dating apps like Bumble or Tinder knows that they can be frustrating. There are tons of variables: You swipe right on somebody who doesn’t swipe right on you, you start a chat but they don’t respond, the match expires before anybody makes a move, you talk for days or weeks but can’t ever make a meet-up work and you just can’t gauge whether somebody is interested ... not to mention the sheer overwhelming number of choices, which has been written about time and time again as one of the major issues with modern dating. Dindr wants to eliminate those frustrations -- to cut out the “drawn-out awkward messaging, flakiness and ghosting.”
It’s all about “respect, accountability and action,” Casler said -- which should sound refreshing to existing dating app users.
“We’re focused on creating a dating environment driven by respect and a return to the basics,” Casler said in a statement. “Currently, online dating lacks common courtesy; people are tired of swiping endlessly, dead-end chats and never meeting up. It’s not fun for ladies or gents alike; we need a better way to date, so we’re making it.”
The app is currently available on iOS and Android devices, but the matchmaking feature isn’t yet live. That’ll come on Jan. 26, when the app officially launches in Austin.
You can still build your profile, though, and it’s slightly different than what you may be used to in a dating app. Instead of a general “bio” field, the app asks you to fill out a number of different criteria: a list of three things you can’t live without, a list of interests and a list of favorite cuisines. It also requests you fill out religious preferences, your ethnicity and height and whether you use marijuana, tobacco and/or alcohol. It syncs with your Facebook profile to autofill fields for education, gender and employment, but you can customize those fields. You can upload up to six photos, but that comes with a caveat: “Only high-quality photos will be approved.”
Even though the app doesn’t officially launch for a few weeks, downloading it early will put users on the app’s VIP list, which provides “early access to matchmaking and exclusive access to food tastings, events and parties as the app is rolled out across the country.”
Sharing the app with friends will move you higher up on the VIP list, as will making a “quality profile.”
Casler said Dindr is planning on hosting a launch party for the app in early February.