There’s a new dating app in town, and if the Toronto launch party was any indication of its quality; it’s going to be good.
Enter Coffee Meets Bagel.
It’s basically a (free!) dating app for the haters of online dating and dating apps. The focus is on quality over quantity, and on relationship building – but you don’t have to spend three hours on paperwork to find a well-curated match (because nobody has time for that).
They key to its success is its proprietary algorithm that taps into your Facebook profile to find quality matches, which can often be a friend-of-a-friend. This (hopefully) eliminates the weirdoes, as everyone knows that the friend-of-a-friend connection is the best way to meet someone. Not only can a friend vouch for him or her, most people aren’t going to want to screw over a friend-of a-friend.
Not to mention, your friends are likely to be friends with people you actually like.
The app also gives you something to look forward to every lunch break. Each day at noon, users are sent a “Bagel,” (in other words, a prospect) a fellow love-seeking single. You’re then given 24-hours to either “like” or “pass” your Bagel. If there’s a mutual match, you’re connected through a private chat line with a 7-day expiration date – the point being to actually (gasp) meet up in real life, or at least exchange phone numbers!.
South of the border, the app has had a hugely successful run in its three years in operation, and has been the catalyst for hundreds of weddings and even a few “Bagel babies.”
The founders are three young professional sisters from NYC – Arum, Dawoon, and Soo Kang – who came up with the idea for the dating app after growing tired of the traditional online dating world and all of its horror stories.
“Coffee Meets Bagel is for young professionals who are actually looking for a relationship, and who really want to meet up – not just browse photos,” says Dawoon Kang. “The reason you’re given 24-hours is because we really want you to think carefully about this person instead of spending 0.5 seconds and treating it as a screen shot.”
This, of course, is in contrast to sites that not only cost a lot of money to join, but encourage users to provide as many photos as possible.
“You end up making very superficial decisions on most sites and apps,” says Kang. “Coffee Meets Bagel is all about a very easy sign-up, but still meeting quality people.”
Unlike certain dating sites, it’s also very private (a bonus if you’re one of the remaining few who’s still awkward about the whole online dating thing).
“I don’t want a million people looking at my photos or knowing all of my personal information. I don’t feel safe about that,” says Kang, who met her current boyfriend on the site. “But with this, there’s no searching or browsing – you can’t really search. You’re only shown to one person. All your personal information like your name or phone number or things they can use to track you is all hidden until the two of you connect.”
There are no surveys involved in the sign-up – and it doesn’t get too personal either.
“You import your college and brief, keyword-based information about yourself. There are no long essays or anything,” said Kang. “It’s then our algorithm that does all the work and it focuses on education, age, job, network, common interests. As you make like or pass decisions every day, it tries to find a pattern that is common among the people you tend to like. It may feel a little bit random in the beginning, when it doesn’t know you that well, but it should improve over time as it learns more about you.”
“At the end of the day, we have to give you the right match. That is our value proposition, so we spend a lot of time trying to refine that algorithm,” she adds.
If the app is as well curated as the crowd at the launch party, you probably want to consider signing up. We’re going to bet there were more than a few love connections made after the single-filled launch party.
All photos courtesy of Kevin Chung Photography.