My New Dating App! Introducing: Plum

September 16, 2018

Online dating was supposed to make finding love easier. Apps are marketed as methods for facilitating connections between users who'd never have otherwise met, maximizing your odds of meeting someone special. But in all my work with singles, I was starting to recognize how deep the frustration with these apps really ran; online dating has always been daters' #1 complaint. 

The "swiping apps," like Tinder or Bumble, built on the abundance of suitors and free-for-all matching create as many problems as they solve — possibly more. In my dating focus groups, I'd hear continual reports of harassment, flaking, ghosting, breadcrumbing, lack of effort, lack of initiative, dishonesty and disillusionment. Men and women alike were not happy. This got me thinking.

In the aftermath of The Love Gap, I started to focus my journalistic research and attention on the impacts of these apps; why it seems so hard to make a real connection, how we get around bad behavior and problems like the Paradox of Choice, how science shows there's no algorithm that can simply fashion a shortcut for finding a relationship built on mutual attraction, and how we might do it all better.

By summer, my plan was to join a dating app's team in a creative consulting role. After all, I'd spent months and months talking to singles about their dating lives, gathering tons of knowledge about their complaints, and coming up with strategies to help make the app-daing grind a little easier. As I was deciding which company to align with, the opportunity to join Plum found me. 

My co-founder, Dave, had been following my work and reached out to me about collaborating on a dating app he'd been developing for the better part of a year — in need of a creative strategist who knew the dating space inside out (ME!). Both of us dating app "veterans," we knew how hard it was to find a real connection out there. We also knew we could make the search vastly easier (and kinder) than it is today. We've been working on that ever since, and I'm excited to introduce daters to Plum. 

Plum creates a new kind of online dating experience, tackling key app-related complaints at their source. The technology is designed with the female experience in mind, while also rewarding men who are genuinely good catches. 

The app allows women to rate their connections in an uber-like fashion on essential non-physical, character-based components. With Plum, women are given a voice to incentivize men to bring their A-game (or penalize those who do not), while collaboratively helping to create a protective network for other women who will encounter these guys (both good and bad) later on. 

For the men, there are Plum incentives, as well. The higher their rating in comparison to other guys on the app, the more potential matches they will reach in our algorithm, improving their odds of connecting with someone great. Our message for men: Be kind, bring your “A” Game, and earn 5-star ratings. Classy guys will finish first on Plum. As our app develops and premium features become available, men will also earn free short-term subscriptions based on effort and high rating.

And there's SO MUCH MORE TO SAY about Plum's features and why we built the app the way we did, so stay tuned. I can't wait to have you try it.

On a personal note, I'll be stepping back from my journalistic duties a bit to focus on Plum's launch, strategy and development. But I couldn't be more excited to impact the dating space in an entirely new way. 

When it comes to modern dating, it's time to do better. I am confident you'll love Plum. Look for us in the App Store this fall, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates as we take off.


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