According to Greek mythology, sirens were dangerous yet beautiful creatures who lured nearby sailors to shipwreck, all courtesy of their enchanting yet deadly music and voices. They were sort of the femmes fatales of that age. That’s the reason why it’s said that you can’t ignore the call of a siren. In essence, sirens were powerful creatures. Taking this to heart, a Seattle-based startup has named its newest dating app as Siren, in an effort to give the power to women.
How did the idea germinate?
Siren’s founder Susie Lee has been on many dating websites like Tinder, OKCupid, etc., And she has many horror stories to tell about her experiences on these sites. Since she’s Korean American, she said she often received harassing messages and the most important flaw she found was that some of her personal information that she shared on these sites, ended up being public via a Google image search.
“I didn’t feel safe on these sites. I felt really exposed,” said Lee. “Especially as an Asian woman, you put your picture up there and suddenly like ‘Asian fantasy’ would come up.”
Susie Lee and Katrina Hess, a designer she met through another project, partnered up to make Siren a reality. Lee’s experiences aren’t hers alone; many other women have also been at the receiving end of such harassing, and sometimes derogatory, messages on the plethora of dating sites available online. Even on Tinder, which, according to its literature, only allows communication between two people who’ve followed each other, Susie said it doesn’t do enough to protect women’s privacy nor to make them feel safe in that environment.
How does it work?
Two features make this newest dating app, Siren, stand out from the rest of its peers.
One, its policy about user photos. A woman is in control of who gets to see her pictures at all times. And only one photograph is ever uploaded. She can decide when and with whom she can share her photo; only once she feels comfortable with a male user and his profile, a female user can choose to divulge the picture. Apart from protecting the female user’s privacy, the aim is to focus all the attention on the user’s profile and interests, rather than their outward appearance.
Two, getting rid of lengthy questionnaires. Getting rid of the dating site necessity – lengthy questionnaires, Siren has daily set of questions as well as video challenges, to bring out the best in the user’s personality.
Another cool feature of Siren is that it allows women to post anything on the men’s profiles they find interesting, at any given time.
“Siren’s touchstones always reference what I discern works in real life,” said Lee. “Give women the chance to send subtle cues of interest, men to show off a little of who they are, friends to recommend good men and people to make each other smile.”
Currently, the Siren app has around 1200 users, all in Seattle, with iPhones. Currently the app is available on iTunes store, and the Android version, along with a nationwide rollout, is planned in the near future.