Lua has announced the launch of their new platform – replacing photographs with animal avatars. The Israeli dating app is being tested and currently in the beta phase with roughly 6,000 participants.
Users choose photos and build up their profiles based on them before answering questions that are prompted by the app. The distinction between other apps and Lua comes in two forms. The first is that profiles don’t appear in a queue, they are instead shown with the answers to the questions that users answered upon signing up as well as an indication as to who answered. The second comes in the form of animal avatars.
When joining the app, the user is asked to provide a photo of themselves and then how they are feeling. Once this is completed the animal avatars are presented along with brief descriptions of said avatar. The range of animals goes from the more expected lion – associated with courage and leadership – to animals such as an ant – which is described as being honest and loyal. Using the word the user used to describe how they are feeling and the animal they have chosen, the user’s name is chosen.
Once the signup is completed, the user can then choose to display the photo of themselves or the avatar that they have chosen. This option will allow both parties to focus on getting to know each other and their mutual interests without focusing on appearances.
CEO Roni Makatu and CTO Dor Kitenberg aim to create a community and in a press release said that Lua ‘is a safe zone, built on conscious communication and playfulness’. Makuta went on to say ‘the world of dating apps as we have known it over the past decade, is coming to an end. The superficiality and separation they create do not allow people to really meet’.
The app is set to be released in several major cities once the testing stages have concluded.