You know how the popular Tinder dating app works: It alerts you to other Tinder users of a specified age range, gender and geographic distance of your location. If you don’t like the look of a person, swipe him/her off your list. If you’re both interested, Tinder’s messaging function offers you a private chat thread in which to talk.
Two Israeli guys tweaked the Tinder concept and came up with Dateling
The main difference is that instead of texting in a secure space, Dateling matches can talk securely using Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP).
The first minute of the call is anonymous. If the couple continues talking longer, their photos are revealed to each other. Users can talk for five minutes free a day; if they want to talk longer they will pay a fee — unless they feel secure enough to hang up and exchange actual phone numbers.
“In other dating apps, when people have a lot of matches they don’t approach the less attractive matches first and that’s not fair,” says Gal Abramovitz, cofounder of Dateling with Matan Cohen.
“We offer the unique experience of real-time VOIP conversation with potential partners, which doesn’t exist elsewhere. By allowing this intuitive medium of communication we hope to change the world of connecting people,” Abramovitz says.
Abramovitz is a graduate of the elite Unit 8200 intelligence corps and now is studying computers and linguistics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Cohen is a programmer living in Tel Aviv. “I am very interested in voice communication,” says Abramovitz.
They teamed up with a designer friend, Barak Avidan, to get a beta version of Dateling ready for a month of testing among 100 users. Then they launched in the App Store and Google Play in late June. Within a couple of days they had 300 users and by the end of July it was 700 and counting.
The bootstrapped venture is available only in Israel for now but the founders are hoping to get investments that would enable a launch in a US city in a couple of months.
Meanwhile, a similar dating app, AppDate, is doing a pilot in Israel for its Tinder-like service that enables users to add a nine-second selfie video to their profiles.