Our decision to build an app that mimics the social phenomenon of meeting new people is nothing new in the tech industry. There are a dozen successful apps and websites with millions of users that already try to solve this problem so there is always the danger of getting consumed and over obsessed with competition and a tendency to copy blindly.
However, our objective was completely based on a desire to create a personal and fun place where users can safely get to meet new people through their actual friends. There was no better way to do this than through the users phone number and address book, we didn’t care what the norm was or how similar successful apps operated. This post is not about why we are doing this, our previous post “The industry got it wrong” talked extensively about it.
We want users to meet new people through their friends. But what about people you are already friends with: College mates, co-worker and the sort? What if you have a crush on one of them but can’t risk turning a perfectly good friendship into a lifetime of awkwardness? Let’s just say you get the courage and tell them. If the feeling is mutual, that’s the beginning a great love story. If it isn’t, well, nobody wants to be the lead role in that particular story.
Moreover, when it comes to turning initial connections into romantic relationships, friendships still yield the best results — 40% of respondents said they were "platonic friends first" before getting romantic, versus 35% who started as a series of formal dates and 24% who got started from a hookup — Mic
There must be a way to make your intentions known while keeping your dignity in either outcome. Right? At least through a website or app. After all, technology is suppose to enrich our lives. You would probably think that’s what the double-opt in (anonymously swipe left to pass and right to like) dating apps are for. Well, you’ll be mistaken. Let me explain.
The emphasis so far on the double-opt in or anonymous swiping feature in dating apps has been on matching users with new people around them or friends of Facebook friends and not necessarily people they already know. It uses either Facebook friends network or current location or both to achieve this.
Has the fast, fun and addicting nature of swiping or anonymously liking random people popularized by Tinder and Hot or Not created so much buzz that the entire industry completely forgot about crushing on your immediate friends?
Like any tech sensation, Tinder fueled a whole new generation of anonymous double-opt in dating apps but none of these apps uses this mechanism to address everyday crushes on friends and colleagues. It is disappointing to see every app copying the same use case of the double-0pt in without any innovation at all. The most notable of these apps is Hinge, which may claim to be a classier version of Tinder but in actual sense is just another me-too product playing catch up to Tinder.
The app that comes closer to solving this use case scenario is the Down App which allows users to toggle between Facebook friends or Facebook Friends of Friends. However, we are not talking about finding bang buddies on Facebook. The best way to find out if a friend would also love to take the friendship further isn’t necessarily finding out if they want to hook up with you.
We are not building a better version of Down or Tinder or any app for that matter, we are building the best version of our app to scratch an itch we’ve had since our first day in class. We know a thousand other people have this same itch unless they were home schooled or do not have friends at all.
In order not to get self absorbed by our own accession of this “itch” we decided to talk to a couple people about crushes. We were both blown away and inspired by the responses.
Our Beep App uses your immediate friends connection to help you meet their friends, so we simply added a magical button we call the “Get Lucky” next to all your Beep friends that allows you to anonymously like your contacts, if they like you back, we connect you and wish you the very best in your new friendship. Otherwise your secret is safe with us.