Happn is not designed to be used the same way as Tinder, the company has insisted.
We all know how Tinder works. You’re presented with a series of profiles, and you have to swipe right to like someone and swipe left to reject them.
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Happn, on the other hand, has a constantly updating timeline, filled with the profiles of people you’ve crossed paths with in the real world. Similar to Tinder, you can tap a heart icon to like someone, or tap an X to reject them.
However, Happn lets you do something that Tinder doesn’t: nothing at all.
You have the option to neither like nor reject people. So you can check out a profile, do nothing, and then move on to another profile. The profile you checked out will appear on your timeline again the next time you cross paths with the person behind it.
It might not sound like much, but that’s a key differentiator between Tinder and Happn. And it’s a difference that Happn’s execs are extremely keen to highlight.
“On Tinder, as you’re obliged to say yes or no [to every profile], you trigger a lot of wrong matches,” Didier Rappaport, the co-founder and CEO of Happn, tells Trusted Reviews.
“It’s insane for a girl to register on Tinder because the day after, she will get 500 matches. And most of the time she will [ghost them]. This way you get a lot of matches but not a lot of real discussion between people.”
It can be tempting to treat Happn’s timeline like a game of dating whack-a-mole, tapping as many hearts as possible in a bid to maximise your chances of getting a match − or, in Happn’s case, a Crush. However, Happn says that’s precisely what you’re not supposed to do.
“The choice is not always definitive, and you can take your time,” says Eugénie Legendre, Happn’s head of communications. “On Tinder it’s so easy − swiping is just like a game, it’s not real. People don’t take the time to look at each profile.”
Legendre adds that the ideal number of pictures to include on your profile is five, although you can go all the way up to seven. She also recommends using a selection of photos that show you in “different environments”, and including an anecdote or two without oversharing.
“This is exactly why Happn is not about swiping. People are not products, and on apps like Tinder … people are just things that you can choose to speak with or not − and you don’t do this in real life. This is not human or social behaviour,” she adds.
“Swiping is clearly not the best idea to us. This is why we give the time to people to choose who they want to interact with. It’s their own choice and it’s not stressful or frustrating or aggressive, in the way people can interact with each other.”
Slowing down and being less trigger-happy may not sound like a particularly fun approach to dating apps, but who are we to argue?
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“We do not promise people that if you come on Happn you will find love because this is a lie. You cannot promise that,” says Rappaport.
However he adds: “Even if people are not really able to say why they prefer Happn to Tinder, very often we will have people saying Tinder is a hookup app and Happn is a different app.
“We are proud to be romantic, we are proud to be poetic.”
Do you use dating apps? Which ones would you swipe left or right on? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.