In an age of swipes and superlikes, online dating can feel superficial. The swipe-based mechanism of mainstream apps like Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble has yielded a dating culture that places a disproportionate emphasis on looks. Recently, a Chinese company called Momo (who also owns “China’s Tinder”, Tantan) has opted to challenge that status quo. In its newly-hatched dating app Qiao Qiao, personality comes first.
The biggest hallmark of the app is that it blurs out profile pictures when users are first matched; only through chatting and interacting may they request to reveal each other’s avatars.
After signing up, users have to complete at least 60% of their profile before they can start mingling. In addition to the AI matching page, the app contains a discovery channel for users to explore interesting topics and initiate conversations by choice. However, each user only gets five AI matches and ten chances to initiate conversations per day.
By setting ceilings, Qiao Qiao aims to weed out less sincere users, and make the dating pool more self-selective in order to yield a higher interaction rate after matching.
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Also novel are the tag-centered profiles. From as many as 18 categories, such as travel, music, values, and beliefs, users are encouraged to choose tags that describe themselves in great detail.
Browsing through the categories, you’ll find tags as specific as these: anti-TikTok, freedom first, extraterrestrial culture, believes in parallel universe, human equality advocate, this world will be a better place…there’s even a feature section for timely topics such as The Big Band, and other news feed-oriented tags.
People looking for a quick fling will continue to do so, and Qiao Qiao won’t try to change their mind. It’s still too early to draw a conclusion as to the app’s success, but Qiao Qiao might be an important step for the diversity of China’s online dating culture.
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