The U.K.-based Dattch, a dating app "built for lesbians, by lesbians," has launched in the U.S., offering American lesbian women a Pinterest-inspired alternative to gender-neutral dating sites and apps that cater to a heterosexual base.
The application touts itself as different from other apps because it targets women's dating habits and places a premium on security. Dattch CEO and founder Robyn Exton said the app isn't just an adaptation of Grindr or other apps targeting gay men, because men and women have different dating needs. "We've found that girls often need a helping hand to get talking," she said, adding, "Guys will see a picture, send a girl a message and see what happens. Whereas girls will look at a picture two or three times before deciding to send a message."
In practice, this means that Dattch looks much more like Pinterest than it does other dating apps, according to the Guardian:
Based on the Pinterest model, where users upload pictures of things they like (be it tables, Beyoncé, curry), Dattch allows users to create a kind of personality mood board, making profiles much more revealing. Exton compares it to looking at someone's Instagram feed: "You get a sense of who they are really quickly."
Emily Moulder, Dattch's community manager, explains that the app's model takes a show, don't tell approach to user profiles:
On traditional sites people will always put the same things - going out clubbing, going to the cinema, reading books’ - if you put a picture of the book you’re reading, it's much easier to click instantly whether you’ll get along. It’s more proof.
Dattch also differs from other, comparable site by offering content on the site, making it seem like more of a landing page for the lesbian community. On the Dattch blog you can find articles like "Car Crash Crushes: How Your Best Friend Can Be The WORST," "TV lesbians vs. Real Life lesbians" and "Lesbian Movies To Watch In London’s LGBT Film Festival," and other stories geared to a lesbian audience.
The app also promises "a safe environment without male and fake accounts." This is harder than it seems, according to the Telegraph:
Robyn [Exton] and Emily [Moulder] receive an average of three to five applications a day from men seeking to meet lesbian women. "There are two ways males approach joining," Robyn explains. "The first is they’re obviously a man and upload pictures of themselves, obviously male, wanting to meet lesbians. Then you get those uploading pictures of women to create fake profiles, and then when we do our checks we’ll find out they’re actually Dave from Birmingham."
Because of this, Daatch staff is devoting resources to weeding out creeps, which seems like a good idea for all dating apps to deploy.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.