We all know that digital dating can be a minefield. One app aims to cut through the noise and offer a personalised service 

The dating scene has seen a really big shift in the past five years. Tinder was around and a few basic copycats but the majority of people were actually meeting online,”says dating app, CLiKD, founder Michael Blakeley. “It’s quite a generational thing. I’m in my thirties so for people of my age there’s still this perception that people who use dating apps or dating sites are too shy or they just can’t find a date. But actually I’ve chatted to quite a lot of millennials and about dating apps and what is interesting is there isn’t that stigma now for young people.” With this generational shift shaking off the taboo it now seems to be that digital dating is nearly a victim of its own success with a plethora of dating apps readily available to swipe happy users of all ages.

“At the moment we have the two main groups. There’s the Tinder type apps and you’ve also got the Match.com and OKCupid type apps. The Tinder ones are really quick and it’s mostly about looking at someone and saying yes or no and on the opposite end of the spectrum Match.com ask you thousands of questions, many of which don’t relate to your lifestyle, but more importantly neither of them puts you in the driving seat,” Michael continues matter of factly. Bored of his lawyer and data protection officer job, Michael spotted a niche within the dating app industry and pitched the idea of CLiKD directly to his target users – a group of millennials in their third year of university. “The way we see CLiKD is like the first conversation you might have at a bar or when you’re trying to chat someone up,” Michael explains. “We let you choose those three questions that are important to you and that way it lets you have a conversation starter. What we’re doing also is making it about more than just looks.” Part of CLiKS appeal is the ability to craft a profile that is 100% personalised, much like the social media self portrayed in an Instagram bio. If you don’t like the questions that the app asks you can even choose your own.

 

 

“We don’t use any complex matching algorithm, we allow the user to be in control. Everyone is different.” Michael elaborates. “We’ve had quite a few success stories actually. We hired an intern to go on ten dates in ten weeks and said if she found someone we would send her to a festival,” Michael laughs. “Her first date was a disaster but her second date went well and she met her boyfriend.” All sounds good, right? What about the impact of dating apps? Can they actually be detrimental to users?

“People want to connect with other people and ultimately I think most of the time people are looking for love so anything that puts barriers between people can be quite disheartening,” Michael confesses. “Dating apps makes it a lot easier to meet people, but it does make it easier to dispose of people as well. With CLiKD we want to improve interaction. We’re going to add a search people to give more choice so you can search for people based on their interests. If you want to meet sporty people you can search under sports or if you want to search for creative people or people who are into photography, you can search for them.” With 20,000 users, averaging at 150 downloads a day, it seems CLiKD’s bespoke service is well on its way to taking on the app dating monopolies.