Dating apps suck. There, I said it. I’ve tried them at several single moments in my life, and I have yet to be impressed by the results (no offense to those involved). Yes, I’ve met people on dating apps and even had some decent dates and relationships. But that doesn’t change the fact that using them is a time-consuming, spam-riddled, scam-artist-laden foray into the worst slices of humanity that humanity has to offer.
Hotline, a dating app that recently launched in New York City, is doing whatever it can to change all that. On the surface, it looks like any other dating app: look for matches, look to hook up, eventually make babies. But on Hotline, you have to talk - in real time, with your voice - for five minutes before it’ll even let you continue chatting. The designers of the app say they’re “looking for people willing to put themselves out there.”
And it makes sense. If you’ve ever experimenting with dating apps, you know that there’s a lot of matching and very little actual meeting going on. Sure, you might chat a bit, have some witty, flirtatious banter, but it usually ends right there, with neither party willing to get off their respective butts and actually meet in person. Hotline is betting that by forcing people to have a chat one-on-one, users will have a better feel for any chemistry (or lack thereof).
They didn’t stop there, though. Hotline also charges $9 a month for membership. That alone should thin out the scammers, spammers and straight-up hook-up artists who don’t think finding the love of their lives is worth less than what their spending on an Old Fashioned at the local.
On top of that, the app limits you to three matches at a time, forcing you to give those a go before you start spreading your love around.