Swiping blind

Picture this: The reality TV show “Love is Blind,” but for your personal dating life.

Driving the news: While traditional dating apps encourage you to swipe through potential matches mainly based on looks (and whether they’re posing with a giant fish), some daters are turning to new “blind dating apps” to make more meaningful connections.

  • Blindlee hosts three-minute blurred video calls between users who match each other’s criteria, and as time goes on, users can gradually unblur the video image.

  • S’More, the UK’s fastest-growing dating product, offers ways to hyper-personalize profiles and hides photos until users have sent at least 15 messages back and forth.

Why it matters: Blind dating apps claim to offer more authentic connections, something very much in vogue with younger users (see: BeReal). Since the novelty of seeing good-looking people on the internet is wearing off, they’re interested in really getting to know people.

  • “Usually you think: ‘Oh, they’re really good-looking’ but when you start talking, the chat’s not that good,” one dater told The Guardian.

Yes, but: Blind dating apps come with pitfalls, too—are any of us emotionally prepared to be ghosted after a nice chat once our photos are revealed? And what about potential swindlers?

Zoom out: Tinder has also moved to add a blind chat feature based on preferences and compatibility. It’s almost as if looks aren’t the only thing that matters these days!