Love Doctor's Blog

Toffee Dating App Review

 

Toffees are lovely. They’re sweet and delicious with a lovely texture. Of course, you wouldn’t want to eat more than one because then they’re sickly and sticky and unpleasant. So it’s perfectly fitting that the Toffee app sounds great at first but quickly becomes, well, gross. 

Toffee launched in the UK a few years ago and has since spread to the USA and Australia. It’s a dating app, which is always great – but this one is exclusively for people who were privately educated. Some people have described this as elitist, the app’s developers have tried to justify it and personally, I think it’s gross. 

The information given on their website is, at best, tone-deaf. They argue that it’s important to date people from similar socio-economic backgrounds because that means you share values and are more likely to form a lasting union. There’s so much here to dislike. Firstly, I’d love to see their evidence to back up their claim. Secondly, I firmly believe in meeting – and dating – people outside of your normal bubble. I’ve dated people from different age groups, religions and ethnic backgrounds and it’s (mostly) been fun, informative, and has enabled both of us to grow and expand our world views. You can have good sex, interesting conversations, and a genuine spark and connection without sharing a parental tax bracket, and it seems a shame to deliberately ignore the vast majority of people based solely on their family’s disposable income. Toffee is furthering the cliche that privately educated kids are out of touch, sheltered and snobby. 

It’s also screamingly ironic that Toffee has recently changed its policy and is now free for all users. If you’ve come from a background that’s wealthy enough to send you to a private school, surely mummy and daddy have set up some kind of trust fund that’ll allow you to buy as much cocaine, caviar and access to dating apps as you want. Toffee’s argument is, again, so close to parody that it’s actually indistinguishable from the real thing. Apparently, if your family has paid to send you to school, you deserve free access to a dating site. It really sounds like an Onion headline. 

A scroll through the Google Play page of Toffee is enlightening. There are two things to note here: despite Toffee claiming to be ‘free for all users’ there are some in-app purchase options. Seems misleading. Also, Toffee has apparently been installed in over 5k devices. Which… isn’t a lot. At all. If you assume that approximately half the users won’t be interested in dating you because of your gender/sexual orientation, that means that there are only 2.5k  potential matches. Remove more because you’re not attracted to them, or they live too far away, or you’re related, or you’ve dated before, or they’re too old or young, or they’re not active on the app anymore, or you find out they’re just using Toffee to cheat on their significant other and the group you’re left with is perilously small. Sure, it’s been downloaded more than 5k times, but if the number was substantially higher, wouldn’t they advertise that instead? I’m sure Facebook has been installed more than 5k times, but they’ll probably put the more accurate, much higher number instead. 

Now, if you weren’t privately educated but thought you could impersonate one and gain access to this elite app, do be careful. As part of the signing up process, Toffee asks for your year of birth and the school you attended and then ‘verifies’ your account – presumably, by checking through the old school lists. Whilst I appreciate the hustler mentality and Robin-Hood-esque nature of your endeavors, it seems like this might be difficult to pull off. 

There’s another core irony for Toffee and the private education system generally. Private schools are able to offer higher wages and therefore attract the best teachers into their institutions, where they teach children who won’t necessarily have any special ability. Therefore, the smartest kids don’t actually get the best education and we’re all robbed of the potential that brilliant working-class minds hold. It is therefore unsurprising that Toffee seems to be an app designed to look sleek and expensive but doesn’t actually have any innovative ideas. In fact, it just seems to have copied Tinder’s swiping system and rather overpraises itself for allowing people to show their interests – just with a fancy-looking graph. There really isn’t anything to make this app unique or even good: it’s just free, for the very rich. 

Toffee’s new ‘free for all’ policy seems like the dying gasp of an app that was never going to work. I suppose if it was built for the privately educated, by the privately educated, there’s probably someone’s very wealthy parents pouring money in to keep the whole thing afloat, but it really seems like this ghoulish carcass will, inevitably, turn as rotten as it was always doomed to be, and be thrown away by its creators, so they can move on to do-nothing jobs in their family’s suspiciously wealthy businesses.

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