If you find Tinder to be too superficial and OkCupid to be too old school, here is a new upstart seeking to put the romance back into mobile dating – introducing Happn.
Happn chose Paris to launch their app in early 2014. No surprise, given the city’s reputation for romance. It is now present in more than 30 major cities throughout the world, including London, New York City, San Francisco, Madrid, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Mexico City and Milan. The app counts more than 16 million members today and is expanding it’s footprint into Asia.
How is Happn different from other dating apps?
The romance factor. It is also much more closer in replicating human dating behaviour to a mobile environment.
The app is geolocated and uses real-time: every time you cross paths with another member, their profile appears on your app.
Happn helps you discover the people you have crossed paths with and that you would like to meet again.
It’s those stuff made for movies.
You know that pretty girl who brushed past you at the library and stole you a glance? If both of you are on Happn and happen to like each other. You can be connected from there if both of you had sent a Heart to each other.
Alternatively, you can send a Charm to her to get her attention.
The app gives us a second chance, the chance to discover and to meet that person that has caught your eye, and to avoid all missed connections.
It is certainly more romantic than the way people meet on other dating apps where you just pick and choose each other through the in-app profiles.
I can envision Happn as the start of a romantic movie. How two strangers of different social economic status crossed path with each and met through Happn through two virtual Hearts. They then fell in love and became the greatest love story ever told.
I think a lot of time, we forget about the human touch when interacting via mobile and social media platforms. Behind all the technical details, what drives conversations and interactions online and on mobile are still human beings. Happn understands this from the standpoint of a dating app.
Getting started on Happn
You can download Happn for free on the App Store, Play Store and Windows Store.
I downloaded the app to test it out and it scores well for it’s ease of use and simple set-up process. The homepage is a timeline of all the people you have crossed paths with.
You can link your Facebook, Instagram and Spotify profiles to Happn, to quickly share photos, moments and your favourite music genres with other Happn users.
When you cross paths with someone you like, like them with the Heart, which is a secret action. The other person won’t see it unless they have liked you too.
You may also send a Charm to let them know you’re interested.A Charm sends the other person a notification. If you both like each other, you can start a conversation.
Happn follows a freemium model. It is free to use, but if you want to send Charms, you have to buy or earn them. Each Charm is worth one credit. A virtual store is available directly on the app or you can earn credits by referring friends to the app.
A few key features about Happn for those concerned about privacy and security:
- The location of a user remains completely invisible to the other users, as only the location of where you have passed each other is saved.
- You can block another user or report any unwanted behaviour at any time.
- Facebook Connect is used only to show common friends and interests, and to prevent fake profiles.
- Happn will never post anything on the Facebook walls of its members without their approval.
- The concept of reciprocity guarantees an app experience without any spamming or harassment.