The dating app scene is teeming with platforms for a range of different relationship arrangements. There’s Bumble, where its women who make the first move, Tinder, regarded among daters these days as a hookup app, Raya, a dating app for celebrities and high-profile swipers, even Dinky Ones, an app for people with below average-sized penises.
Now, Facebook wants to throw its hat into the ring with a speed dating app called Sparked. Sparked has been developed by the company’s New Product Experimentation Team (NPE), Facebook’s in-house firm that works on experimental apps, according to The Verge.
There’s no swiping involved, no sliding into the DMs, no creating a profile, and it’s 100% free to use. It works like so. The app requires your Facebook login before you’re then ‘set up’ on a speed video date that lasts for four minutes only.
If “you both have a great time” and happen to click with the person on the screen in front of you, then you can proceed to a 10-minute second date. From there, you may choose to exchange numbers, emails or Instagrams and take your conversation off Sparked, potentially pursuing a real-like relationship.
It seems there are few limitations around who can join the platform, however, being “kind” appears to be key criteria. According to The Verge, users who sign up must submit a short form outlining what makes them a kind dater. The application is then “reviewed by a human at Sparked” before you receive permission to go on dates.
The app plans to foster an inclusive and safe dating environment for men, women, nonbinary and trans people. “Putting yourself out there is brave,” reads a screenshot from the sign-up process. Another says: “Everyone deserved to enjoy dating. So we hold everyone accountable”.
Sparked isn’t yet available to the masses, however the NPE team has confirmed that Facebook is conducting a “small, external beta test” of its new platform to test its success. We hope this one comes soon as we predict a face-to-face encounter in the first instance could serve as a huge time-saver on the path to finding real connection, or at least a new friend.
For now though, we’ll continue to swipe and practice our online dating conversation starters.