Names: Hatty Kingsley-Miller & Mo Saha
Positions within company: Co-founders. Hatty is in charge of Operations and Mo is the Creative Director.
Period of time in your roles: 2 years
Twitter ID: @antidate
Tell us a little about your company.
Ours is a classic tale of two best friends having an idea for an app, getting a team together and bootstrapping our way to a prototype, around our day jobs. It’s been challenging (knackering!), but we are absolutely loving the challenge of creating a new experience in the dating world.
Where did you get the idea for this app?
Back in 2013, Hatty was single and having a pretty (very) rubbish experience on online dating sites. We felt we could improve on it and bring a girl’s perspective to the tech. Tinder had yet to hit the UK, but we knew that mobile was where it was going.
We were aware of gay apps like Grindr, but knew the geolocation concept would not translate wholesale to a straight audience, due to concerns about female safety.
So we came up with the idea of an asymmetric experience for guys and girls. Antidate works like one-way glass – the girls can see the guys on a map, but the guys can’t see the girls at all until a girl gets in touch. This results in the girl making the first move. Once a girl gets in touch, the guy can see her profile, and the couple can message each other, but at no point does the guy see the girl’s location.
We felt this was a win/ win – guys no longer have to make the first move, girls are spared any unwanted messages (as they can only receive from messages from guys they choose to contact), and girls have more privacy and control.
What makes Antidate different from other dating apps on the market?
There isn’t another app out there that offers a truly asymmetric experience based on how girls and guys use dating apps. The fact that girls make the first move with Antidate is attracting a cool, progressive crowd – girls who are confident enough to make the first move, guys who like a girl with a bit of confidence. The “Males on a map” concept is also new for a straight dating app.
We have a couple of other unique features – the main profile picture is a time-stamped selfie so there’s no room for fake or out of date pictures. Antidaters know from the get go what their dates really look like, reducing the risk of first date sight surprise/disappointment.
Antidate also has an “Eyeball ID” feature so users can positively rate a date if they have met them and they look like their pictures. This gives other Antidaters the extra assurance that their date is genuine. We are testing a few more ideas now so watch this space.
How many users do you have?
It’s early days for us so we just have a handful of users at the moment. We went public on Christmas Eve 2014 and have been testing, experimenting and refining the app as we go. Most of our users are based in London at the moment, where we created and launched the app.
Do you have any plans to expand Antidate outside of the UK?
We would love to take the Antidate concept global. We are gunning for investment now to bring it to the rest of the world.
We hear that you’ve been working on a version of Antidate for the LGBTQ crowd. Can you offer us any inside scoop on this project?
We are at concept stage for the LGBTQ audience app. We are considering creating a different experience for each specific audience, each with its own Antidate twist based on community insights.
We feel quite strongly that one app doesn’t necessarily fit all so we want to get the LGBTQ app right. There are also a number of really good apps out there serving the LGBTQ audience so we want to do something unique in that space.
Which specific features of your app have proved to be most popular with your users?
Guys are responding really well to the fact that girls make the first move on Antidate. I think it’s a relief after decades of outdated dating customs. Girls are enjoying not having an inbox full of unwanted messages, and loving the fact that they have anonymity on the app – girls on Antidate are only seen by the guys they choose to approach and are in complete control of that process. For girls who want to use an app but don’t want the rest of the world (or the rest of their office) to know, Antidate is a win.
Many women are concerned for their personal safety when meeting with a virtual match in-person. How does Antidate address this issue?
On Antidate, the app ensures that the woman’s location is never revealed. The women can see the men on the map, and the women can see where they themselves are in relation to the men on the map, but the men have no idea from the app where the women are, at any time, at any point.
(The men are visible to the women on the in-app map if they choose to be, but this is optional – the men can turn their location on and off whenever they want. The women will then see the men whose locations are switched ‘off’ in a simple grid view).
Also, Antidaters can use the Eyeball ID to let other Antidaters know that a person is real and looks like their photo. So that adds another layer of security.
We don’t however have control when Antidaters choose to meet in real life. As girls ourselves, we know that personal safety is a real concern so we encourage our users to keep their wits about them as they would if they met someone in a bar.
What do you see as the biggest problem for online daters?
London is an awesome city but it can be weirdly hard to meet new people in it. And as most of us need to kiss a lot of frogs to meet our prince/ princess then the dating process can sometimes take a really long time.
With Antidate we’re trying to take some of the dating pain away by enabling people to meet up swiftly and easily— see a nice boy on the map who can meet you nearby, be confident that he looks like his photos, message him and meet up. None of that long back and forth on email only to find your date at the tube station looking five years older than their profile picture.
What are your plans for the future of this app?
We are constantly thinking of new ideas for the app as we want to reflect how people are using mobile tech to meet people. We want to keep challenging the dating norms and customs to attract a forward-thinking crowd.
Read our piece New Crop Of Dating Apps Giving More Power To Women, and visit the AntiDate website here.