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

You can find a complete lot of apps available on the market now for young people searching 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, women victoriaheart dating site result in the move that is first along with OkCupid you are able to get a handle on how much information you reveal up front—they all have at least one part of typical: Possible mates judge each other considering appearance.

But Willow, a brand new software striking the App Store 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 created to spark up a discussion. What’s more, users decide when and in case they would like to share photos along with other users; in the beginning, the responses to those concerns are typical future dates see.

The app’s creator Michael Bruch claims Willow puts the “social” back social media marketing. Bruch, now 24, had been fresh out of ny University when he established the software year that is last. He states he had been seeking to fill a void he noticed when making use of dating apps that centered on swipes as opposed to that which you like.

“You can match with a number of individuals which you think are good searching you don’t really understand much about them before you begin conversing with them,” Bruch informs TIME. “If I’m going to pay time with some body i do want to understand that individuals have actually one thing to talk about–that’s what’s essential in my opinion.”

Bruch is hoping that same fascination with discussion is essential to many other young adults as well. Up to now, 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, folks are utilizing it for over simply love that is finding. “It’s be much more about social development than strictly dating,” Bruch says. “If you need to access it an have actually a laid-back discussion about game titles you can easily, and you will additionally put it to use to spark up an enchanting discussion with some one that’s significantly less than 30 kilometers away.”

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The type of the software released Wednesday also contains a “Discover” feature that will help users search what’s trending and better examine concerns they’d be enthusiastic about responding to.

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. Plus it’s much easier to make some body down based on simply their face as opposed to once you’ve started up a discussion. To see how users reacted to pages without photos, OkCupid among the biggest online dating sites, hid profile photos temporarily in January of 2013 dubbing it “Blind Date time.” They unearthed that their members were more likely to answer very first communications during that time, but the minute the pictures had been turned straight straight back on, conversations ended–like they’d “turned regarding the bright lights during 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 during the jerky messages published to your Instagram account Bye Felipe (which aggregates negative communications ladies have online) provides a beneficial feeling of just how difficult it may be for most people, but especially for females, 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 simply help ladies circumvent that by placing the charged energy of striking up discussion in solely inside their fingers. But Willow really wants to replace the focus completely, through the means some body appears as to what his / her passions are. “If your photo just isn’t being blasted on the market, the actual quantity of harassment and communications you’re gonna get the break off will be reduced,” Bruch claims.

On its area, the app’s mission sounds like a cheesy line from a rom-com: a hapless sap whining that they want some body would just take desire for their thoughts rather than their appearance. But, Bruch and Willow’s other founders are hoping this has carved a location one of the array apps that cater to the millennial generation’s life online.