Dating apps copped some bad publicity in 2014.
The man accused of murdering a New Zealand tourist on the Gold Coast reportedly met the woman through Tinder. Then the matchmaker site OKCupid faced the fallout over a user offering women $2000 for sex.
While these episodes prompted calls for stronger laws to protect women on dating sites, they have also stimulated innovation on the dating app front.
One such app is Bumble, which claims to be “changing the rules of the game.” It works by “the woman always mak[ing] the first move” and allowing her the freedom to easily back out of an interaction: “If she doesn't say something to a new connection within 24 hours, that connection disappears forever”
Bumble follows Antidate, a location-based app from the UK that similarly prioritises women having control, this time by allowing women to see male users who are nearby while preventing men from seeing the woman until she has initiated contact. “Let’s flip the rules of dating,” the company website says. “It’s all up to you.”
Wyldfire is focused on empowering its female customers by only allowing men to join once they've been invited by a woman, making it “the dating network where ladies are the gatekeepers.”
And a new Australian app called Pozee is perhaps the most innovative when it come to an application working symbiotically with real life by taking a hyper-local approach, working within a 50-metre radius. It offers no way to communicate through the technology; it simply lets you know if someone in your vicinity is open to being approached.
“Imagine if everywhere you went you knew who was single and open to being approached… Wouldn’t single life be that much easier?”