Aisle, the biggest Indian-made dating app, is rolling out new versions of its apps based around the country’s specific regional languages and cultures.
The company claims that Arike is India’s first vernacular matchmaking app and is designed for users from the southwestern state Kerala. It focuses on the region’s Malayalam language but can be used in any location, and in other languages including English.
The app, which features a ‘like’ system similar to Tinder and Bumble’s, focuses on highlights specific to Kerala — like food and movies.
India has 28 states and eight union territories across which 22 ‘official’ languages, including Malayalam, are spoken. Aisle founder and CEO Able Joseph said Arike, which means “close by” in Malayalam, will be the first of many region-based offshoots.
“Kerala is just a start, we are planning to launch versions of Arike across India in multiple states personalised to that region’s culture and habits,” he said.
“The way love works in India is quite different from other parts of the world. People in India are very specific about faith, religion, language, etc. before choosing a potential partner. With Arike, the company aims to solidify its learnings of Indian romance by starting to build a category of vernacular dating apps,”Aisle said in a statement.
Aisle launched in 2014 and ended 2020 with over 3.4 million users globally. In India, it’s the second most used dating app, behind Tinder. It launched as a service for single Indians wanting long-term relationships rather than hook-ups, but without an overbearing focus on marriage.
“Indians being the romantics at heart, we always include a permanent lover as a part of our life plan. So, we opted to take a middle path and build a platform that is not too casual and doesn’t pressurise users to initiate conversations around marriage like matrimony websites,” Able said.
It has a ‘closeted’ function, allowing LGBT+ users who are not publicly out to find matches without revealing their identities online.