Called Hey There, the iOS app was co-founded by Kevin Trainor and Todd Staples, after the pair found themselves helping their single friends use online dating platforms effectively.
Whether it be offering advice on how to improve profiles, or what to say back to a potential date, the two realised there must be a way to make things easier for singles by incorporating these offline conversations with friends into an app.
And that’s exactly what they did, moderating their social technology to build a brand new online dating platform that lets people find matches for their single friends and even offer in-app advice in real-time.
Hey There co-founder Todd Staples explains: “The app is built on the concept that technology should emulate real life behaviours versus real life scenarios adapting to technology.
“For decades, matching algorithms have dominated the digital dating world. Permutations of traditional matching algorithms are still being applied to the majority of new offerings hitting the market.
“Our app works differently in that matches are curated as a result of friend influence, not algorithmic math-based matches.”
How does Hey There work for singles?
Just like any other dating platform, the iOS app gives singles the chance to peruse through other online daters to find their perfect match.
Users can whittle down their possible matches by location, gender and age, before scrolling through the users who fit their set preferences.
Staples said: “We believe that everyone in the app deserves a full screen representation of themselves to other users.
“One of the things our research showed that annoyed people was the feeling that they were an “item in a shopping cart”, which is something we aimed to solve by not having a grid layout of profiles.
“Profiles are constructed to be heavily based on images, as if you are viewing someone’s “scrapbook of life”.
“We include a brief summary page where the member includes data points like Facebook friends in common, mutual interests, education, occupation, and an about me write in section.”
If a Hey There user likes what they see, they can choose to “Hey” someone, which will cue the app to send a pre-determined “Hey There” flirt message to that user.
Members can’t send anything else until they have received a response to that initial message – a feature the company hopes will help to prevent spam messaging.
How does Hey There work for friends?
Hey There also gives friends and family members the chance to help out their single friends by taking on the role of “Wingers” (like a wingman or matchmaker).
Working exactly how the name suggests, Wingers can choose matches for their friends and even coach them on how to word messages.
Instead of the “Hey” button, Wingers are presented with a “Match” option, which lets them notify their friends about other users, and include a quick message explaining why they recommended them.
Staples explains: “This gives deeper insights and perspectives on a prospective candidate to the single friend receiving the match.
“Members no longer have to forward screen captures to their friends via text as everything is handled in the app.”
Wingers can also act as advisers by using the app’s “Co-Chat” function, which gives singles & Wingers the chance to send/receive advice on how to proceed with each conversation and match via a separate message feed in the app.
According to Hey There, 20-30% of online daters share their online dating conversations with friends, so the startup wanted to introduce co-chats to try and make these interactions easier.
Co-chats also offer a streaming option that lets singles show their friends how conversations are progressing with their matches, so Wingers can see the full context and give sound advice.
Wingers can also match friends who aren’t using the app with those that do, by connecting the app with their contacts list and sending a unique download code via text.
Firstly, the app lets users report and block singles they think are abusive or indecent, and if someone is blocked three times their account is deactivated.
If this happens, the user has to directly contact the app’s founders to resolve the issue.
Hey There also makes sure that all users who delete their accounts are fully removed from the app, Staples saying: “Too often larger sites recycle deleted user content to maintain high user numbers. In our opinion this is a breach of trust and puts user information in jeopardy.
“We respect the privacy of our members and completely remove their account data.”
In addition to this, the co-chats and flirt-based system is specifically designed to deter singles from spamming other users or sending inappropriate messages, especially if they feel others are watching what they say.
The app, which is currently only available for iOS, is looking to continue adding more functionality, including further roles for wingers like profile editing capabilties, as well as releasing an Android version in the near future.
To find out more and to download Hey There please click here.