Sometimes, online dating can seem like a veritable minefield of creepy men who send weird messages and pictures in the hopes of ‘impressing’ the woman, or clingy and/or needy women who are trolling the internet in the hopes of finding their ‘dream man.’ But it’s not always the case though. There are genuine men and women who are looking for real relationships, but the chances of them crossing paths are very less.
This might seem cynical or even a dejected outlook, but it hasn’t slowed down the tech industry even a bit. Every other week there is news of a new app that is introduced to the market, which claims that it has finally cracked the online dating game and that their product is the answer to all online dating woes. To this long list of recently released apps – LUXY, Siren, Cuddlr, etc., – a new dating app has entered. It is called “The Catch.”
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How did it come about?
Shannon Ong, CEO and founder of The Catch, i.e., the brains behind the newest offering, bills The Catch as a cross between The Dating Game and The Bachelorette. She thinks she has found the answer big question that online dating poses – how safe is a woman on an app? – by making it female-centric. Plus, Shannon has made it as a game, so that it’s fun for everyone, and also introducing a bit of healthy competition. A healthy competition for what, you ask? Here it is.
How does it work?
It is reminiscent of a Swayamvara from one of our epics like Ramayana or the Mahabharata. A female user selects a group of male users based on some general parameters that she tells the app about the kind of guy she would like to date, and the app comes up with a list of potentials. Of these, she gets to pick four. Then, their pictures are hidden, while they answer questions that are either made up by her or the ones generated by the site. While the questions that the user makes up may be anything, the site-generated ones are from any of the 10 different categories like ‘family,’ ‘fun,’ and ‘culture.’ These questions range from “If you could be a superhero, which one would you be?” and “What’s your ideal Sunday?”
Based on the guys’ replies, one guy is eliminated in every round, until only one contestant is left. He is deemed the ‘winner.’ Then, the app allows them to have a conversation, and also set up a date in the real world, if they so choose.
How safe is it?
All the ladies who have used the app so far, are loving the fact that there is finally a dating site that allows women to take the lead and how far to take the interaction. Plus, the fact that the profiles of all the women on The Catch are totally private is an added bonus. So women need not have to worry about getting weird and/or abusive messages, being spammed, or receiving pictures of dudes’ private parts. Shudder!
“Online dating has primarily been male focused,” said Shannon Ong. “I wanted to create a safe place for women.”
While the men are upbeat about the fact that they can really show a woman what they’re made of, women can be in control of their interactions with the men. And an added plus for this app is the fact that Shannon has turned it into a game, taking the awkwardness or fear of rejection out of the process.
Shannon also stated that The Catch is beneficial for guys as well. “With Tinder, for example, guys swipe right and sometimes the girls don’t swipe back, but here, guys can’t play the game unless the girl invites them personally,” she said. “It’s good for the guys because they’re avoiding rejection.”
The app was introduced in March of this year, with the private beta version introduced in September. Currently, the private beta is available in the San Francisco Bay Area, those who want to get on to the waiting list can apparently do so. At present, the only game available is where the men compete for women, but Shannon has said that once all the kinks in the beta is worked out, there will be new games with women vying to ‘catch’ the attention of a man, as well as LGBT-friendly games too.
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