Sometimes even the best pictures or the most perfect match interests still make you feel disconnected from a person. Happn has tried to reproduce the olden days’ way of dating with its location-based dating app. Having amassed over 70M users, mostly across Europe and south-east Asia, the app lets chance once again take control of your dating life by matching you only with those people you might have bumped into on your way to work.
How Does Happn Work?
The first step requires you to create a profile to include up to nine pictures and basic information about you, with the option of syncing your Facebook. You can then submit your dating preferences and interests, just like any dating app. Instead of a search button, however, you are automatically connected with people you have walked by during the day, narrowing the search to profiles in close proximity.
You can then filter through these suggested profiles and “like” it if you are interested. It is only when you have mutually liked each other, receiving a “crush”, that the app lets you get into contact with them.
This means that messages can only be exchanged between two people who are both interested in each other. Some may find this restrictive, especially when someone’s profile is quite short. Luckily, Happn has a number of special features to improve its user experience.
Even if a picture speaks a thousand words, music sometimes speaks thousands more. You can sync up your Spotify account onto Happn and exchange music with your matches.
Similarly, if you have got a voice worth hearing, or simply are not a fan of texting, you can send voice messages to your crushes. Unfortunately, this can only be an audio file as the app does not have any video chat options yet.
In addition to letting you post status updates, Happn offers a “I’m free to” feature which lets you pick out a date idea made visible to any user nearby for the next 6 hours. If anyone is interested, you can review their profile and the date will be set if you accept.
The app also has an in-built game called “Crush Time” to let you play out your fate. Four profiles are chosen at random from those you have recently walked past. You then guess which of these users has “liked” you. A correct answer will let you contact them, a wrong answer will simply “like” their profile.
When a name and last active date isn’t enough for you to tell if a person might be your soul mate, or simply a great few months, Happn offers a premium subscription with lots of little perks.
The most commonly used is what is named a “Hello”. If you don’t feel like a handful of badly lit pictures are entirely representative of you, then a “Hello” might be your best go ahead. This lets another person on Happn know that you would be interested to talk, even if you don’t have a “crush” with that person. Whilst everyone receives 10 of these for free, a premium subscription is needed for additional “Hellos”.
Costs and Prices
Happn is a free app to use. However, it does include in-app credit purchases and an upgrade to its premium subscription.
Like many dating apps, its subscription costs become more rewarding the longer you pay for it, from $24.99/month for one month, to $10/month for a whole year. With a premium subscription you can view which users have already liked your profile, so you can contact them immediately if you decide to like them back. You can also access a feature known as “Invisibility Mode”. This lets you deactivate your location tracker whilst temporarily hiding your account from other users for as long as you want.
Whilst your “Hellos” are limited to just 10 when you sign up with a free account, on the premium you will be able to send up to 5 “Hellos” every 12 hours. This is quite a drastic increase for those avid users of the feature. Happn also operates with credits which can be purchased in bundles of different size, ranging from $2.99 to $39.99 for bigger purchases. This mostly lets you access features like responding to “I’m free to” posts.
Is Happn Safe?
In terms of privacy, the information made public is quite general to most popular dating apps. This includes your name, gender, date of birth and anything else you wish to add regarding your job or education. Pictures and self-descriptions are not required but few profiles have any success without at least one picture.
Some people might not be comfortable syncing their Facebook account with Happn for privacy reasons, this is not a requirement. Whilst some may enjoy this additional privacy, this means that Happn does not verify and approve new accounts like some other dating apps which might let in the occasional catfish.
Unfortunately, Happn’s unique location matching software can create uncomfortable situations for people actually meeting in person. Although this is less likely in big cities, it might be something to consider in smaller neighbourhoods. It is still important to note that Happn never reveals your exact location to other users, it is only an approximation averaged to a 250-metre radius.
Is Happn a Hook-up App?
Someone interested in a hook-up can often find one if they look hard enough. Even though Happn does not specifically advertise itself as a Hook-up dating app, some of its features may very well be exploited for that very purpose.
In particular, its “I’m free to” feature is an obvious route for quick and uncommitted meetups. The great thing about Happn is that whoever contacts you back must be in proximity to you. This avoids having to drive for hours or having to plan days ahead for a hook-up. Here, spontaneity is key to both the app and the hook-up.
Happn’s need to have mutual likes for one to contact the other does make it more time consuming and therefore difficult to navigate if you are just looking for a one-time thing. However, its “Hello” feature can be quite efficient in by-passing that requirement and letting you clarify your intentions straightaway.
• The unique concept of location-based service
• Great for big cities
• “Likes” are hidden from the user until they like you back
• Fun additional features like Crush Time, Spotify sync or live status updates.
• Location-based matching may not account for shared interests as well as other dating apps.
• Small towns may have few people
• Concept of shared location can lead to safety and privacy issues