There’s a new dating app on the smartphone scene: Happn. It helps people get in touch who have actually crossed paths in real life. But does its geolocation feature present a privacy trap?
Paris may be “the city of love” – but when it comes to finding a partner, the situation in the French capital is not particularly easy. According to a recent poll, 51 percent of the Parisian population is single.
But a new dating app could change that. Happn is the most recent addition to smartphone applications like Tinder and Lovoo, which tap your Facebook profile and use geolocation to help match you up with others nearby.
But what sets Happn apart is that it populates your feed with people whom you have actually crossed paths with in real life.
Thuy-Vi, a 26-year-old from Agen who recently moved to Paris, is a Parisian single. She says it is hard to meet girls in the city. She tried using a few location-based dating apps on her smartphone – like Tinder – but says she didn’t like it.
“I’m not really fond of dating apps. I don’t believe in them,” she says. “I think it’s really unnatural … the way we rate people, randomly like this. I don’t really like this idea.”
Happn was created by three Frenchmen – Didier Rappaport, Fabien and Anthony Cohen – about a year ago. They describe the app as making full use of the geolocation service on our smartphones.
Instead of connecting you with strangers who are in your area via a location-based app like Tinder, Happn lets you contact people you’ve crossed paths with in real life.
You first link your Facebook account to the app. Once that’s done, you can put your smartphone in sleep mode and spend the day as you would normally.
The app is always working in the background. When you open it later on in the day, your feed will show profiles of users who took the metro with you, walked down the same city street, or frequented the same cafe.
“They may be people you’ve noticed or people you didn’t notice at the time,” he explains. “So when you look at your feed on Happn, you can say, ‘Oh, I would have liked to have met that person,'” he says. (more…)