A new video-centric dating app desti just launched over the weekend to give users the ability to find potential matches based on their preferred appointment date. Users who live in the app’s debut marketplace in Austin, Texas can scroll through a vertical feed where profiles indicate which destinations (called “destis”) they want to experience on their first date – whether it’s wakesurfing on Lake Travis, trying new sushi a bar or even a visit to the beer garden where dogs are allowed. “Desti” are discovered by scrolling through internal TikTok-style videos showcasing the Austin area.
What also makes Desti different from other dating apps like Tinder or Bumble is that it doesn’t have a “Like” feature, so people are forced to start a conversation. Users can send a message to a person, and the recipient can accept or reject the message. They can only see one message at a time and must transmit or reply to a message in order to move on to the next one.
The app is initially available to iOS device users in Austin. It will be available on Android devices in the coming weeks. The startup plans to expand into other areas in the future, the report said.
The example below shows the video of the destination in the foreground with a profile picture in the lower left corner.
When setting up a profile, the user must select three “destinations”, choosing from categories such as “Breweries”, “Rooftops”, “Live Music”, “Food Trucks”, “Dog Dates”, etc. In addition, next to the video there are hundreds of prompts to choose from, such as “Somebody teach me…”, “The CDC recommends…” or “Tonight we should…” To complete their profile, a user uploads four photos and creates a bio.
Since so many millennials and Gen Z users are turning to TikTok or Instagram to discover restaurants and new activities in the area, Desti is using the same idea for their dating app.
“We decided to bet that the short video is the future,” Nick Dominguez, COO and lead designer/developer of Desti, told TechCrunch.
The company isn’t the only dating app that focuses on TikTok-style videos. Snackfor example, it allows users to post videos to the feed and scroll through videos from potential matches. French App Feels had a similar idea.
When asked if each destination would have an address or description, the company said that’s what it’s working on. Desti wants to create a more robust Discovery tab so that users can browse various places, locations, restaurants, events, and local businesses.
Other features in development include a subscription plan and paid features that will remove restrictions such as the daily message limit. Currently, users can send between 5 and 12 messages per day.
There is also a friend version of the app called Besti that is currently in beta testing in Austin, Texas.
In July, the company raised its full $1 million round at a maximum valuation of $5 million.
At launch on July 29, Desti had 500 users in the first hour. In just one day, there were 2,000 downloads and over 5,000 posts.
Founded by John Taylor, A.J. Kutub, and Nick Dominguez, the dating app aims to help end “small talk, boring, dead-end conversations, terrible one-liners and unreliable matches that never go anywhere,” the company said in a statement. . “Dating online and trying to start a conversation with people you don’t know is inherently awkward. Being able to see that someone also likes one of your favorite coffee shops or frequents one of you and your friend’s favorite patio bar helps them feel less unfamiliar. This helps make the interaction feel more natural, as if it could be someone you would naturally run into. The goal of any dating app is to get people to meet somewhere. Our thesis is that introducing this into the swipe process will lead to a higher conversion of that end goal.”
Desti was also created with single women in mind, as many of their inboxes on other dating apps are filled with crappy pickup lines or just a very basic and uncreative “sup?”
“We realized that the main problems in today’s dating apps are related to filtering and communication. For women, managing their dating app was a full-time job and it was hard to control what you get out of it. The three of us liked the idea that people can have better control over their experience,” Dominguez said.
We had one question: what makes John, AJ and Nick able to meet the needs of women? Former Hinge designer Julia Chesbrough advised three men on the dating app industry and designed the Desti app for them. But if the designer is a woman with Hinge experience, why isn’t she a co-founder?
Dominguez responded, “Dating apps are two-way. Women face a huge mess on their side, and men get lost in this mess. We realized that the problem was on our side and our goal was to reverse engineer what was causing the underlying problem. Our designer Julia is amazing – she runs her own agency, Rebel Studios, where she has a lot of clients and makes a lot more per year than she could in a single business – that’s why she’s not currently a co-founder.”
Although Desti was designed for women who are accustomed to the “clutter” of dating apps, we argue that the main problems in today’s dating apps are harassment and lack of background checks. In 2019, an investigative report by ProPublica and Columbia Journalism Investigations pointed to the problem of sexual predators on Match-owned dating apps like Tinder. In March, Match Group was launched. background check for Tinder and recently extended background checks its app of the same name and Stir.
“Safety is important for everyone, especially for women. Not all women want to meet someone for the first time at home. When creating Desti, this was the main thing, ”said Dominguez. “We wanted to give people the freedom to choose the public space they like as Desti. In addition, background checks and AI-assisted photo authentication will be carried out.”
The startup says it intends to offer background and photo authentication features in the future, but these are not included in the existing app. Dominguez was unable to provide any further details about his plans in these areas other than suggesting that they would consider using some third party integrations.
Credit: techcrunch.com /