scorecardHappn hits the refresh button – Launches Crush Points for users who wish to connect on shared interests
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Happn hits the refresh button – Launches Crush Points for users who wish to connect on shared interests

Happn hits the refresh button – Launches Crush Points for users who wish to connect on shared interests
Tech5 min read
  • Given that trawling through millions of profiles is cumbersome and time consuming, Happn will now allow users to find dates based on common interests.
  • Six categories of locations will enable users to find other people who visit the same places like restaurants, bars or even concerts.
  • So far Happn has only used geolocations to match users who have been in the same location over a period of time.
Whether you like going for a standup comedy show or dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant, you can now swipe the right person based on common interests. The Gen Z and millennials on the dating circuit are now looking for mates with core common interests and hobbies and thus dating apps are now catering to this need by making it easier to choose like-minded people.

After bombarding users with millions of profiles based on unrelatable algorithms, dating apps are now looking to finetune searches so that users can find their perfect mates/crushes using activities and places that can bring them together. Thus, France’s Happn is the latest to have hit the refresh button. From location based matches, it is now looking to allow users to look for their crushes using common interests and preferred destinations like restaurants, events and even parks.
Navigating sheer volume
Dating apps have become intimidating because of the sheer volume of profiles that users have to trawl through before finding a suitable person. To make matters worse, women are fearful of encounters with “creeps” and “stalkers.” Remember the infamous Tinder Swindler? In a bid to make the lives of users easy, dating platforms are trying to make things easier by matching profiles using common interests rather than common locations or similar bios. Even with this, users have had to trawl through scores of profiles before finding their perfect match. With rising disenchantment, platforms are looking at fixing major pain points and the overload of profiles.

Dating is big business across the world, as young people are increasingly using them to form new connections. Global consumer spending on dating apps was $4 bn in 2021, up 96% since 2018. It is estimated that by 2027, dating services as a whole will generate €7.5 bn in revenue worldwide in 2023. Given that India has a large population below the age of 25 years, dating apps are training their guns on India. At last count Tinder had 75 mn active users in India and Happn had 35 mn, while Bumble has well over 40 mn users.

Not surprising that France’s Happn has hit the app refresh button this year to create better social engagement among its 35 million users in India. The platform is currently available in 18 countries and has 135 mn users globally but India incidentally is its biggest market. So far the app uses geolocations to suggest matches to people. So if you have crossed paths with someone during the course of the day or week, the app will recommend these people to you. In theory this sounds great because it will throw up a person you may have crossed paths with but never actually met in person. But users say that this was rather limiting because their choices were restricted to those who visited the same place as them or in a radius of 250 meters.

Given that this app uses geolocation to connect users who have passed each other, the chances of encountering bots is that much tougher. The app is now looking at other means to help people connect with each other based on their social interactions. The French dating app is now using common interests to help find dates/crushes, even though this app prevented bots from masquerading as active users on their app. Happn will now offer six location categories across 18 countries and 40 cities. In India, this feature will be launched across 5 cities with more than 1000 locations. With this Happn hopes it will become the perfect 360 degree platform at the crossroads between dating and social networking.

In conversation with Business Insider, Karima Ben Abdelmalek, CEO and President of Happn, says, “When we tell the story of meeting someone, the place is always part of it. We therefore wanted to make the places memorable. Putting meeting places at the heart of the experience is an obvious choice for us. We are happy to highlight all these points of interest because we believe that they create social links and are a guarantee of trust, two essential ingredients for a successful encounter."

According to Abdelmalek, the app has launched Crush Points, which will be based on places they love to visit. This feature seeks to connect users through their social preferences and not just geolocation. She says: “If we look at Happn today, it is among the top 5 must download apps in the world. More dating apps will be used than ever. Young people are using dating apps to meet people, date and even marry. But we know we have to change and contribute to the new culture around dates by making it safe for them to meet and engage.”

Happn’s recent upgrade is aimed at providing the best of both worlds to its users, which is dating and social networking. Its new feature ‘CrushPoints’ is designed to help singles to connect not just through chance encounters based on locations but through their favourite places. Today, Happn is going even further with CrushPoints, which enables singles to meet other singles who like and visting the same places as them. This feature will be available in 18 countries and over 40 cities, which include local Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune. It will allow singles to add to their profile a selection of favourite destinations across 6 categories – events, bars, restaurants, sports, culture and outdoors. They can then learn the favourite places of people they are crushing on and find a place they both would like to meet.

Happn will allow users to find places either on other users’ profiles or on the map, which will be at the heart of the application. By browsing the map, users can explore different locations and find singles who have favourited them, thus discovering people with shared interests. This feature will also help to create a real community. Places will be recommended by other singles and will be certified by other users on Happn as trusted places to arrange to meet someone for the first time.

WIth the pandemic becoming a distant memory, Happn is hoping to make interactions more real. The drawback could possibly be that the app is currently only focused on India’s top five cities.