Two San Francisco-based friends have co-founded a new San Francisco-only dating app called “SOON” to try solve online dating's frustrations, from boring opening lines to back-and-forths that never turn into anything.
The two co-founders, Cora Kyler, a 27-year-old who recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a doctorate in math, and her best friend, San Francisco-based architect and designer, Alena Titova, launched the app on Valentine’s Day, as SFGATE reported.
It’s reportedly a similar premise to Tinder, Hinge, or Bumble: Users put up cute pics and answer some prompts. But the difference is that the first message after matching has to be an invitation to meet up IRL.
“We thought we could do dating apps infinitely better,” Kyler told Modern Luxury Magazine. “Unlike other platforms, SOON actually values your time.”
Early in their app development journey, Kyler and team (which includes another engineer and a chief-of-staff) began interviewing individuals to determine if existing dating apps adequately served their needs. The insights gathered from these interviews informed the creation of SOON, originally a “passion project.”
Now, it has a user base of 6,000 individuals, according to SFGATE, out of 10,000 that tried to get on the list. You do have to apply to get on it, which requires answering a list of questions and then waiting to get approved: “We review all applications & work to ensure everyone on SOON is kind, intriguing, bright & values getting together, soon!” the website reads.
Once you’re on, you apparently note your open availabilities on a calendar and pick out some date options from a list of 100 San Francisco spots (like meetups at bars, coffee shops, and parks, but no dinner dates at restaurants).
Kyler told SFGATE that this first date was “a vibe check,” so a dinner would be “too much commitment.”
You can also only swipe 12 times a day on matches to help you make better choices. Also, once you’re matched, you have access to a 10-second video that the match has made that tells basically a story from their life that shows who they are, called a “Glimpse,” as another another compatibility layer. Another feature is exclusive access to in-person group blind dates for 50 to 100 people. The app is currently exclusive to San Francisco, but the team reportedly intends to expand SOON dating pool to San Jose and Palo Alto in the near future.
Plus, there’s no denying the Gen Z factor of it all, from SOON's nostalgic Y2K-themed website design to the fact the company already has tens of thousands of followers on TikTok.
Best of luck to all the hot singles in the SF area.
Image via SOON.dating.