Most dating apps and sites are riddled with flakes: Users don’t want to even commit to a meeting, let alone a person.
The new dating app Tonight aims to revolutionize online dating and make it less about chatting and flaking, and more about meeting. The app, which is from the dating site HowAboutWe, is trying to make online dating more productive and flake-free.
“We’re bringing an entirely new experience to HowAboutwe,” said CEO and co-founder Brian Schecter. “The central idea is that someone can say, ‘I want to go out tonight,’ and they can see users who also want to go out tonight. You can say which of them you’re interested in going out with and we match you over text with one of them and you can make plans.”
Here’s how the app works: Users get a “look book” of 20 people to like or not like, similar to Tinder or Hinge. Then, Tonight sets up the user with a “match” after both users like each other, but Tonight will only set users up with one match, even if there are several potential matches – it’s about removing extra variables from the equation.
“One of the challenges of online dating is there’s so much back and forth … We want an experience where under five minutes you can find a date tonight,” said Schecter. “We’re overloaded with choice and that’s the case of online dating and we wanted to skip to the important part which is the actual date as quickly as possible.”
The unique setup of Tonight means a couple of things: One, by logging into the app, the user has essentially announced that he or she is available to meet tonight, thus making it less acceptable to flake on the date, and two, the fact that Tonight gives users only one match means they don’t have a dozen options to choose from. Basically, Tonight makes it more difficult for users to back out of a date.
What happens if a user doesn’t match with anyone from his or her look book? Tonight will then give the user another look book, but only if there were no matches from the first look book. Tonight also sets up look books so that there is 100 percent overlap between both users’ look books, which means that users will only see people who also see them in their look books.
Schecter called Tonight an “on-demand dating experience” and compared the service to a real-life matchmaker. “We’re doing the work of the final match once users have said, ‘Here are the people we’re interested,’” he said. “Who of these are you down with? We’ll take care of the rest for you.”
Schecter is also relaunching HowAboutWe to be free for mutual matches. Users who like and like each other back will be able to message each other free of charge – a change from HowAboutWe’s old model, in which users had to pay to communicate.
Tonight launches on Thursday.