There are already similar dating apps out there, when and why was Happn created?
happn was launched in Paris in February 2014. It then launched in London and Berlin in May and June, in Barcelona and Madrid during the Summer, and in New York in September.
It started with the question: What can we do about missed connections? When you just instantly fall in love with a guy cycling past you, when you’re too shy to go talk to that girl who’s surrounded by all her friends, when you were actually on your way to ask her/him out, but the other person left the bus…What can we do to meet new people that are close to us geographically and share a similar lifestyle? And then, how can we create an online dating experience that is profoundly linked to real life?
This is how happn started: to save us from missed connections, as an ice-breaker for the shy, to find out who we keep bumping into every day without having the chance to ever notice them, to allow people who have been at the same place at the same time to meet again.
How does it work?
The homepage is a timeline of all the people you’ve crossed paths with, within a 250 meter radius: every time you cross paths with another happn member, their profile appears on your app in real-time. On every profile, you’ll see the number of times you’ve crossed paths, as well as the time and location of your last encounter.
When you cross paths with someone you like, you can: Like them (the heart symbol), which is a secret action. The other person won’t find out... unless they’ve liked you too! You may also send a Charm to let them know you’re interested! A Charm sends the other person a notification, to make sure they notice you. When both people like each other, they can start a conversation.
How is it different or better than Tinder?
happn helps you find the people you have encountered. On the contrary to other dating apps, the experience starts in real life: thanks to real-time geolocation, the app shows you a timeline of the people you have really crossed paths with and who were at the same place at the same time.
Another use, is to discover new people: people from your neighbourhood, who work in the same area, who take the same transports. They are people you might bump into every day but that you’ve never noticed because you’re always reading a book for example.
Unlike Tinder, you are not prompted to make a choice straight away. You can keep people in your timeline as long as you wish before making a choice. Maybe one day, after realising you keep crossing paths with a certain person, you will grow curious and click the heart on their profile. What is more, you can see where you have met on a little map, and you can see how many times you have seen each other.
Which cities are very active on it?
All the cities we launched are really active: London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona and New York.
A friend told me about Happn. How do people hear about it?
happn is indeed often recommended by friends. The idea behind happn is such a universal concept, that only a few words suffice to create interest. Other than that, we use all the traditional marketing tools.
The guys on there seem to really good looking? Are they real?
They are!! We don’t create any fake profiles (not one!) and we use Facebook Connect to avoid fakes and empty profiles.
Do you have any success stories yet?
We’ve received a fair amount of thank-you messages since we launched, less than a year ago. A lot people have finally met the neighbour they had a crush on. We know a couple who has met on happn, that came to realise that they had been taking the same train every day for years! We also have an in-house success story: one of our developers found his girlfriend on happn!
Anything else you'd like to add?
We’re about to reach 1 million users! We should reach that figure within a couple weeks and we plan to launch major US cities very soon.