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Date: 06. September 2016

Dating App Once:
Matchmaking With a Human Touch

Computer algorithms are not the only tools that online matchmaking sites are using in order to match singles up. While a lot of them may speak of complicated mechanics, there are a few who have gone back to old-fashioned basics: as is the case of the dating app Once.

A start-up from Exmouth Market was begun by a group of three friends: Jean Meyer, Guilhem Duche and Guillaume Sempé. Now a successful dating app known as Once, there are well over 2 million users across the globe. Eva Peris, the app’s marketing officer, states that there is a high demand for such services that focus on serious relationships as opposed to "hook-ups".

Singles will receive a message at noon from Once with a potential match that has been personally recommended to them. The user will then get a full day -24 hours- to make a decision on their pairing as to whether they “like” this individual. Should the likes be mutual then the lines of communication open up and you can start chatting.

"The idea was to say that instead of quantity you will get quality," said Peris.

"We realised people don’t want to go on some dating apps because they are inefficient and people might spend hours swiping."

Peris says that matches are provided in order for people to focus their attention, since they are chosen by actual match makers. According to her, there is an algorithm at work but there is still the need for a more human touch to the whole thing that can make it “a little bit more magical".

Match makers scrutinise photographs that have been uploaded by users and will see who looks great together. Payment for the match occurs if it is successful, and judgment comes from feedback from users.

"It’s a little bit like when you are walking on the streets and you see a couple who look good together,” said Eva.

"The idea is to learn from what they’ve done wrong. They are not going to be perfect. There are always mistakes."

Once is basically free, however you can also enjoy other features such as being able to choose your own match.

"Our motto is “You don’t need to kiss a thousand frogs to find a prince,” Eva added.

"It’s all about the fairytale. At the beginning we said you can have one match a day. It was the idea of meeting your Prince Charming."

Source: Islington Gazette

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