This dating app (and its founder) thinks it's only normal to judge people based on their looks


Dating in 2015 has not only evolved, but has also become more mechanical, cue to the numerous dating apps being abundantly available on the internet.

The rise in the popularity and the usage of Tinder in the country is a clear message that today's youth are ditching the traditional ways of ‘meeting someone’ and are instead relying on technology to do most of the work for them.

This has also led to the rise of a host of dating apps wishing to be the Indian alternatives to Tinder (the most popular ones being TrulyMadly, Woo, Hinge etc) but unfortunately these apps have very little features that can be called unique or haven’t been ‘inspired’ from Tinder.

With the aim to make itself distinct from all the other apps thriving in the burgeoning mobile dating space in India, Delhi- based startup Thrill Group launched FRIVIL- a new age dating app that claims to engage the youth and give them an ‘edgy’ experience. Targeting users between the age groups of 18-24, FRIVIL has been reportedly adding over 1,000 people on a daily basis.

The only problem however is, it hasn’t quite gotten its plot quite right.

FRIVIL is based around a gamefied competition, where they pit two users’ profile pictures against each other. Everyone else gets the responsibility of deciding who they find more attractive. In short, the prettier you look, the more votes you get.

Then, after that is done, depending on how many people like a particular profile picture (not the same as ‘liking’ a person) in comparison to the profile picture (again, not a person) they were up against, matches are made every 9 pm.

According to the co-founder and CEO Josh Israel, the reasoning behind this gamefied competition on FRIVIL is because the app wants to ‘shun’ the idea that computers are smart enough decide who’s a creep and instead just lets users decide who they find more attractive and matches up people in the same ‘league’.

While the makers have gone all out on social media in promoting FRIVIL, which included tying up with MTV and running contests, one of which allowed the winners an exclusive chance to get a brand new profile picture shot by a photographer to use on FRIVIL, a lot of women have raised their voice against the rampant objectification and superficiality that the app promotes.

Varnika Kundu, for example is of the opinion that the app which effectively is just a ‘Hot or not’ question in disguise, shamelessly advertises the concept of shallowness.

Akshita on the other hand thinks it’s quite unfair that an app solely judges how a person is based on how they are reflected in the mirror.

Israel however finds nothing wrong with the way the app is designed and thinks everyone needs to instead ‘take things lightly.’

When quizzed about whether he thinks that today’s youth are superficial in nature while looking for a date or a relationship, Israel says that judgment and superficiality are inherent in all of us and FRIVIL is the first app to admit that instead of playing ‘safe,’ like the other apps in the market.

“People like to say that they aren’t superficial at all or they don’t judge anyone based on their appearance or looks, but the fact of the matter is, especially when you are looking for someone to hook up with or date, that is exactly what you will notice first- whether it’s in a bar, or on any dating app. Even on Tinder, I’m almost certain most people are swiping instead of tapping then swiping – meaning they are initially judging based on looks. We just put in the forefront and use it to match people up,” he adds.

When further prodded about whether he thinks FRIVIL would favour only the attractive, Israel states that the app and its algorithms don’t favour anyone. "Everyone has an equal chance," he adds.

What he forgets to mention however this- ‘provided they look good, ofcourse.’