If you’re keen to find the next Tinder, you might well spend your time scrolling through badly constructed websites and downloading apps that nobody had thought to optimise for Android users. Finally, you might just traipse back to Bumble – you’ve been there before, but at least it actually has users. If this sounds exhausting, perhaps you should try pre-registering for Blyss. It’s a new dating app that is currently accepting pre-registration in Washington DC, and is actively looking for young adults and students to test-run the app.
They’re doing what to catfish?
Blyss’ website certainly has the cool, serene air of a cult, but it actually seems to function and be a well-thought-out concept for what a dating app could be. No, this isn’t an April Fools prank. Let’s start with the boring stuff. According to the co-founder of the company, they want to crack down on catfish dating, where people lie about their identity in order to get dates. They’re doing this by using facial biometrics, which sounds very sci-fi but has been successfully employed by everyone from Monzo to Apple, so there’s some reliable precedent.
Presumably, this will involve users uploading pictures so they can be compared against their other pictures to prove they’re the same person, which, to be fair, is kind of the idea behind most dating apps anyway. Blyss hopes that this will prevent fake accounts and encourage people to be honest and genuine – although I imagine most men will still lie about their height. Incidentally, don’t do this because then you start your first IRL date with disappointment.
What is the ‘trusted friend’ feature?
Obviously, people on dating sites don’t have to be catfished in order to be dangerous. Blyss has therefore included a ‘trusted friend’ feature where users are encouraged to tell someone they trust that they’re going on a date and give them a few details just in case something bad happens. Although this is something that most women do anyway, either for safety or because they want to gossip with their friends about how excited they are for their date, it’s still a good idea and will help make sure that when you use Blyss, dating is safe and fun.
What is the ‘safe word’ feature?
There’s one more non-biometric feature that Blyss is going to use to keep its members safe. The dating app will have a ‘safe word’ that can be entered if anyone feels unsafe on a date. It’s not clear exactly how this will work, but hopefully Blyss will work with the local police to help victims and allow them to leave the date safely and without any further interactions.
Blyss is doing what for free?
On more fun topics, Blyss is offering the usual ‘premium’ features for free, which is always nice and probably necessary for any students on the app, given their lack of disposable income. To be honest, ‘free dating app’ sounds like the most student-y thing since ‘crippling debt’ and ‘beer bong hat’. Or possibly my ideas of college/university life in the USA are strongly influenced by Bad Neighbours. Blyss hasn’t actually specified what these premium features are, but I’d want to see everyone who swiped yes on me, because even if I don’t want to date them, I’m a little curious about the kind of people who find me attractive.
And they’ve got recommendations, too?
Blyss is also working with local restaurants and bars to help find the best date spots. Since one of the most awkward parts of arranging a first date is locating somewhere cool to go, this could be pretty nice: support small businesses, try a new place, and even if the date goes badly, you can return later with your friends. Of course, this does increase the chances of everyone appearing in the same venue and having to avoid their ex/the person they ghosted/their surprisingly young and attractive TA, but it’s still worth a try.
I’ve seen a lot of truly terrible ideas for dating apps. It’s nice to find Blyss, which actually seems like it might be inclusive, innovative and keen to shut down catfishing and protect its users. Of course, it hasn’t actually launched yet, so perhaps this will go down like a lead balloon, but of all the dating apps I’ve seen recently, Blyss seems the most likely to be around in two years.