This Dating App Focuses On Personality, Not Pictures

Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
The greatest advantage online dating can offer is introducing you to a bunch of people you would never meet otherwise. But, Willow, officially available for iOS today, offers an intriguing twist to the game — by letting users hide their pictures. Sort of likeThe Voice of dating apps, Willow's central concept is that it allows users to hide their photos until they're ready to reveal them, usually after a few of their own questions have been answered. So, you might only find out what the other person looks like after you've had an actual conversation. Each user gets to create his or her own questions, meaning that if you only want to get as deep as "Best movie you've seen recently?" or as specific as "When was the last time you ate crinkle fries from Shake Shack?" that's totally cool. If you want to delve into big existential issues, that's an option, too. Willow's concept might seem simple, but it could get around some of the big challenges dating sites find themselves up against. For instance, having access to a lot of new people is only helpful if you also have a way of sorting through them. Unfortunately, the similarity algorithms most dating sites use aren't very accurate, so it can be hard to judge your compatibility with the profiles you find interesting. Putting personality before photos might be especially interesting to those on the lookout for a longer-term relationship (or anyone who's tired of the selfie onslaught). Of course, if that's not your style, Willow has a "casual" filter as well, and there are a plethora of other apps out there to swipe

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