In an attempt to transform mobile dating into a more effective tool for long-term connection, Twine is pairing users up on a “personality first and looks later” basis, in the words of its founder, 35-year-old Rohit Singal. First, matches are made on the location-based app through interests listed on users’ Facebook profiles. Then—and here’s the catch—while chatting you see only a blurred-out photo of your match, which doesn’t become clear until you both agree to reveal yourselves.
Billing itself “the first intellectual flirting and dating app,” Twine was released in August and has so far seen around 120,000 downloads and more than 1 million matches. Late last month, the company released a revamped version, which lets you pick from matches nearby, within the U.S. or around the world.
“Every other dating app is trying to show you a photo and pick people who are good looking,” Singal says. Twine’s model of syncing people with similar interests, he says, was inspired by just looking around at the couples in everyday life doing things they both like together.
The app is the antithesis of the hot-or-not model employed by Tinder, the rapid-fire dating app that lets you scroll through hundreds of faces per minute. Twine prioritizes quality over quantity, like a real-life matchmaker, and even limits the number of matches you can have in a day in an effort to steer you away from working in volume.“We understand this is not common in real life. It would require a change in user behavior to accept what we’re doing,” Singal says.