Is dating app hookup culture on the decline? Marriage Pact is an app based on the assumption that many people want to find life partners rather than just sex partners, and it’s gaining a lot of college traction on US campuses.
Also new in the dating app world: hundreds of thousands of potential catfishers have been blocked, there’s a fast-growing US-based app for people wanting to date black professional women, and elsewhere anti-ghosting functions have been rolled out.
Marriage Pact encourages one life stands
An alternative to US college hookup culture is being offered by Marriage Pact, a dating app that matches single people at the same college based on their answers to a 50-question survey – with no names or photos revealed before matching.
Launched in 2017 by Stanford graduate Liam McGregor, in September 2022 the app received $5 million in seed funding from various firms, after it gained traction across 80 US campuses.
Users answer questions on Marriage Pact then are matched with potential partners who answer similarly, with all the matches emailed out on each campus at the same time. It’s aimed at students looking for life partners, with McGregor claiming that 30 percent of the matches end up meeting in real life.
From the 30 percent of matches that meet, one in eight are still dating a year later, the company says. Marriage Pact is set to be rolled out at many more US college campuses soon.
“When you’re talking about your values deep down it’s hard to evaluate other people. You look at someone, and it’s hard to tell what their values are,” Speaking about the app, and why it doesn’t show photos of matches, Mcgregor says.
Iris blocks 200,000 potential catfishers
A glimpse of the scale of the problem of catfishing on dating apps was shown by Iris, a dating app powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which revealed that it had blocked over 200,000 potential catfishing accounts.
The app’s AI system learns what users find attractive by monitoring their preferences in the app, then uses the information to present them with potential matches that they are likely to find attractive.
To combat potential catfishing users must take a live selfie, which is then compared to photos in their profile to verify their account. The app’s makers have touted the fact that they’ve blocked over 200,000 potential catfishing accounts as evidence that Iris is a haven for people wanting to avoid the common catfishing problem.
The app has over one million users so far, so it may well be doing something right.
Exclusive dating app for black women levels up
CarpeDM, a members-only dating app aimed at people who want to date profession black women, has raised just over $1 million in a pre-seed financing round, as it looks to expand.
The video-first dating app, which offers access to a “vetted community of high-quality singles”, has been making waves already in Washington DC.
“It’s of the utmost importance that we’re protecting Black women, that we’re elevating Black women, and we’re providing them an option that I personally think any single would want to use… we’ve built this specifically with them in mind,” Naza Shelley, CarpeDM’s co-founder and CEO, told Washington Business Journal.
Inner Circle’s anti-ghosting feature
While ghosting isn’t as serious a dating app problem as catfishing, it is really annoying. The dating app Inner Circle has rolled out a slew of features designed to crack down on it.
The features, under the title ‘The Date Conscious Suite’, include reminders to reply to a message on the app, options to end a conversation with a ‘ghoster’, decision prompts and pinned messages, TechCrunch reported.
As part of the new functions, reminders pop-up if you haven’t replied to a message on the app within 48 hours. You can also decline to open a message, a more subtle way to tell a match that you’re not interested in chatting further, which could eliminate the need for ghosting as a tactic.
Read next: Video-focused dating app Snack now lets you report someone for ghosting