Flirting app Twine takes on Tinder—with a twist

A bachelorette can’t see her matches, but she can ask them ice-breaking questions like, “If I kissed you and you turned into a frog, what would you do?” OK, so that was a scene from 1960s TV game show The Dating Game, but the new app Twine offers a similar experience for the 21st century.

Twine
Twine shows a blurred photo to emphasize common interests.

SourceBits, the software development studio perhaps best known for iOS games like Apocalypse Max and Robokill, is taking on Tinder with its own flirting app, Twine. (Full disclosure: SourceBits received funding from TechHive parent company IDG.) The concept is similar: The app, which debuted Wednesday on iOS and Android, finds other Twine users nearby and introduces you for the purpose of dating. Both apps mine your Facebook profile for photos and information—and to prove you’re a real person. That’s where the similarities end.

Where Tinder is unabashedly based on looks—swipe to the right if you see a hottie, swipe to the left to send them to the discard pile—Twine shows only a blurred profile photo and forces you to have a conversation based on common interests. The app will even help you out: It offers a (patent pending) icebreaker feature that generates a pick-up line based on shared tastes in music or movies.

If you feel a spark after messaging your mystery admirer within the app, you can choose to reveal yourself. The other person has to choose to reveal, too, for the two of you to see each other’s photos. See? Just like The Dating Game.

A deeper connection

Twine
Twine helps you break the ice by suggesting questions.

Twine is a little more complex than other dating or flirting apps, which was an intentional decision, Twine developer Rahul Nihalani said.

“It’s good to see what [people] look like,” he said. “Our society is a superficial society where you judge people based on their looks. But people become more attractive the more interesting they are to you.”

A person you may have glanced at on Tinder and carelessly swiped to the left could be your soulmate on Twine.

Nihalani said SourceBits plans to build up Twine’s userbase and then open up the platform for other uses, like networking or making friends. A Twine reveal that goes awry could end up being a close friend.

“Let’s say you reveal and you have this amazing conversation and you find you might not want to date them, but because they’re interesting, you might want to be their friend,” Nihalani said.

So you don't meet your match, but at least you have another way to be put in the friend-zone. That's reassuring.

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