Struggling to describe that magical mix of nerves and excitement you feel right before a first date? Entrepreneurs and business partners Daigo Smith and David Standen have coined a term for you; Loveflutter. No strangers to the dating scene, Daigo and David both found that meeting people online was a tricky business. “Algorithms can only be so accurate,” says David. “We thought there must be a more insightful way of doing it.” And so Loveflutter was born; a brand new, interest-based premium dating service.
“Traditionally, your dating profile is all about your pictures and profile narrative,” says Daigo. “We wanted to make connections based on common passions and interests, and tell the story of who you are through the things you love.”
The next step was finding a database to support these interest-centric profiles: this came in the form of Freebase, a recent acquisition of Google. Freebase’s “people, places, and things” functionality enables users to find connections based on both shared and similar interests; so for example, people who like different films by the same director, or bands in a similar genre, will be linked intuitively.
According to David, this brand new area has the potential to be the next big thing, and not just in dating: “Facebook are now working towards getting an entity graph together; they’re realising the potential of this semantic structure of data surrounding interests.”
And while some dating services might let users simply search by where they live, with a number of modern apps offering proximity data, Loveflutter keeps that information safe, and instead lets people list the places they like hanging out: “If you enjoy spending time in Shoreditch, for example, or you’re a fan of rock clubs, you’re more likely to meet like-minded people by putting that on your profile.”
Daigo and David don’t just want these relationships to play out online (a point of contention with the client and revenue retention focus of other dating sites). Rather, they are keen to provide the ideal starting point for getting these fledgling courtships off the group and offline, even going so far as to offer suggestions for potential venues for the all-important first date, a feature powered by Foursquare and informed by both user profiles. As David puts it: “The last thing you want to do on a first date is take a vegetarian to a steak house!” Moving forward, they are keen to partner with bars and restaurants to offer discounts and deals on first dates.
Daigo and David were also keen to gamify the process, to make it more enjoyable and engaging in the long term. Users can collect badges once they qualify as an expert or die-hard fan in a particular area of interest. There’s the “film buff” badge for cinema lovers, and the “stage diver” badge for regular gig attendees.
And in a bid to ensure that Loveflutter launches with a premium level of interesting singles, for an introductory period, memberships will only be granted to individuals who pass the “Are You Quirky And Interesting?” entrance exam, a short and engaging questionnaire. Each question has been geared to reveal something about that person. For instance; if you could sing or play any instrument, which role would you want to take in a band? Or how many people liked or retweeted your last Facebook/Twitter update.
David and Daigo are currently piloting Loveflutter in London, and are keen to establish a presence in New York, where the thriving dating start-up scene is fostering a similar level of technological innovation and intuitive thinking. Followed by China and Japan.
Beyond that? “We’d love to get Loveflutter into the dictionary,” says David, pointing out that Google and Facebook are both verbs in their own right now. Launching a start-up and looking for love online might not be so different – absolutely anything could happen.
Loveflutter – A Sixty Second CV