Meet Willow, the Dating App That Won’t Judge You By The Appearance

T listed below are a complete great deal of apps in the marketplace now for young folks searching for love: Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid, to call a couple of. Though their rationales vary—Tinder and Bumble are both concerning the swipe, but on Bumble, women result in the move that is first along with OkCupid you can easily get a handle on simply how much information you reveal up front—they all have one or more part of typical: Possible mates judge the other person considering appearance.

But Willow, a unique app striking the App shop on Wednesday, is looking for an approach that is different. As opposed to swiping left or right in line with the first selfie the thing is that, you’re prompted to resolve a couple 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 future times see.

The app’s creator Michael Bruch claims Willow sets the “social” back social networking. Bruch, now 24, ended up being fresh out of ny University as he established the application year that is last. He claims he had been seeking to fill a void he noticed when utilizing apps that are dating centered on swipes in the place of everything you like.

“You can match with a lot of individuals which you think are great looking however you don’t really understand much about them unless you begin speaking with them, ” Bruch informs TIME. “If I’m going to invest time with somebody I would like to understand me. That people have actually one thing to talk about–that’s what’s crucial to”

Bruch is hoping that same desire for discussion is essential to many other teenagers aswell. Up to now, 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 utilizing it for over simply finding love. “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 intimate conversation with some body that’s significantly less than 30 kilometers away. “If you want to access it an have actually a laid-back discussion about movie games”

The type of the application released also includes a babel “Discover” feature that helps users search what’s trending and better sort through questions they’d be interested in answering wednesday.

It’s a fascinating approach provided 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 in their narcissists that are inner. And it also’s much easier to make some body down based on simply their face instead of once you’ve started up a discussion. To see how users reacted to pages without pictures, OkCupid among the biggest online dating sites, hid profile photos temporarily in January of 2013 dubbing it “Blind Date time. ” They discovered that their people had been greatly predisposed to answer very first communications through that point, nevertheless the moment the pictures had been turned right right 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.

Even though notably depressing outcome, some millennials have found that the force of placing see your face on the market for the general public to guage may be intimidating—and in certain circumstances, dangerous. Just one single glimpse during the jerky messages published to your Instagram account Bye Felipe (which aggregates negative communications females have online) provides an excellent feeling of exactly just exactly how aggravating it could be for most people, but specially for females, wanting to navigate for the reason that space that is visual. People may be aggressive, fetishizing, and downright cruel.

Apps like Bumble seek to aid ladies circumvent that by placing the charged energy of striking up discussion in entirely within their arms. But Willow desires to entirely change the focus, through the method somebody appears as to the his / her passions are. “If your photo is certainly not being blasted online, the actual quantity of harassment and communications you’re likely to get from the break will probably be reduced, ” Bruch claims.

The app’s mission sounds like a cheesy line from a rom-com: a hapless sap whining that they wish someone would take interest in their thoughts and not their looks on its surface. But, Bruch and Willow’s other founders are hoping it offers carved a spot on the list of array apps that focus on the millennial life that is generation’s.