Meet Willow, the Dating App That Wont Judge You By The Appearance

T listed below are large amount of apps in the marketplace now for young people looking 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 make the move that is first along with OkCupid you are able to get a handle on exactly how much information you reveal up front—they all have one or more thing in typical: Possible mates judge the other person considering appearance.

But Willow, an innovative new application striking the App shop on Wednesday, is looking for a approach that is different. Instead of swiping left or right in line with the first selfie the truth is, you’re prompted to answer a collection of three questions—written by users—that are made to spark a conversation up. What’s more, users decide when if they would like to share pictures along with other users; in the beginning, the responses to those concerns are typical future times see.

The app’s creator Michael Bruch states Willow places the “social” back social networking

Bruch, now 24, ended up being fresh away from nyc University as he established the software a year ago. He states he had been seeking to fill a void he noticed when making use of dating apps that centered on swipes in the place of that which you like.

“You can match with a number of individuals which you think are great searching however you don’t really understand much about them until such time you begin speaking with them,” Bruch informs TIME. “If I’m going to expend time with some body i do want to understand me. that people have actually one thing to talk about–that’s what’s essential to”

Bruch is hoping that same desire for discussion is crucial to numerous other young adults aswell. To date, 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 deploying it for over simply love that is finding. “It’s be a little more about social development than strictly dating,” Bruch says. You can, and you may additionally make use of it to spark up an enchanting discussion with some body that’s not as much as 30 kilometers away.“If you want to log in to an have actually a casual discussion about video clip games”

The form of the application released Wednesday comes with a “Discover” feature that can help users search what’s trending and better sort through 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 narcissists that are inner. Plus it’s much easier to make somebody down based on simply their face instead of once you’ve started up a discussion. To observe how users reacted to pages without pictures, OkCupid among the biggest online dating sites, hid profile pictures temporarily in January of 2013 dubbing it “Blind Date time.” They unearthed that their people had been more likely to answer very first communications throughout that time, nevertheless the moment the pictures had been turned straight back on, conversations ended–like they’d “turned from 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. Only one glimpse in the jerky messages posted towards the Instagram account Bye Felipe (which aggregates negative communications females have online) provides a beneficial feeling of just how annoying it may be for many individuals, but specially 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 females circumvent that by placing the energy of striking up discussion in entirely within their fingers. But Willow desires to replace the focus totally, through the method somebody appears as to what his / her passions are. “If your photo just isn’t being blasted on the market, the total amount of harassment and messages you’re likely to get the break off will probably be reduced,” Bruch claims.

On its area, the app’s mission sounds like a cheesy line from the rom-com: a hapless sap whining that they want somebody would just take fascination with their ideas rather than their appearance. But, Bruch and Willow’s other founders are hoping this has carved a location on the list of variety apps that focus on the millennial life that is generation’s.