In between dick pics and anal jokes, Tinder has become the dating app of modern times, helping many a young person find a perfect match – albeit for a single night only (more often than not). But whereas many blokes revel in the ease at which even the dirtiest pick up line can be sent without repercussion, a new dating app is taking off and its target market is women.
Coffee Meets Bagel is a mobile app that pairs 21 to 35 year olds with potential love interests. Aimed at the young professional market, the creators behind CMB were motivated by their own failure to find a decent dating service, noting that current apps like Tinder are gauged more towards men. The three sisters who bought the idea to life – Dawoon, Arum and Soo Kang – have even turned down a $38 million take over bid from US billionaire Mark Cuban, so you know it’s got potential. Beginning in New York and spreading to Hong Kong, Coffee Meets Bagel is now coming to Sydney.
Like Tinder, CMB uses your location to find appropriate matches within a certain distance. But rather than providing users with a catalogue of potential partners to swipe through, CMB only offers one custom match, sent everyday at 12pm. This means no more swipe fatigue. The approach is to prioritise quality over quantity, and it’s hoped that by using this method, CMB would appeal to women who see other dating apps as too seedy. According to their website, Coffee Meets Bagel is based on three guiding principles:
1. Unless you want to tell others, your dating life should remain private
2. Your friends are the best conduits for your dates
3. Meeting quality people doesn’t have to be so awkward or complicated
Here’s how it works. You sign in using your Facebook profile which in turn provides CMB’s high tech algorithm with the necessary information to hunt down a match (or ‘bagel’ as the Kang sisters call it). Mutual friends, location, profession, religious views and age are all taken into account. On top of that, you can add your own preferences and CMB goes about finding an appropriate match while taking full advantage of your already established network of Facebook friends. The underlying idea is that even if you are meeting someone through a dating app, if they are a mutual friend of a friend, then some of that awkward uncertainty is taken away.
The approach has seemed to work thus far. Coffee Meets Bagel boasts an engagement rate of 60 per cent among their active users, which is close to Facebook territory. It has already established a network of 300 000 potential Sydney users through their New York and Hong Kong members so there is a real capacity for CMB to take off in Australia. Moreover, privacy comes front and centre, with the app itself searching through profiles rather than a random 45 year old dude posing as a Justin Bieber.
Best of all, Coffee Meets Bagel is sort of like Skynet – it learns. So if you are consistently accepting a certain type of match while disregarding others, the algorithm takes these preferences into account for next time.
If you are after something more than a casual hook up then Coffee Meets Bagel is for you, but if you’re more into anal beads and cheap beer, then it’s probably best to stick with Tinder.
Words by Dominic Cansdale.