Open with “Hey” instead of “Hi.”
“Hey” was four times more popular as a conversation opener according to Her’s study. My first message on Her was this stunningly creative gem: “Hey how was your weekend?” Amazingly, the conversation did not stop there.
Once I got over the initial fear of liking photos, I became a photo-liking fiend. I scrolled through hundreds of photos of Her users, liking photos of a chef, a dancer, a medical student, and dozens of pet owners posing with their fur-babies. I also noticed many Her users were non-binary. In the week that I was hacking the app, Her announced a major change-an option to list your gender on your profile.
“When we first started Her we were creating an app with a very specific set of users and a very specific problem in mind–helping lesbian and bisexual women find a date.
But pretty quickly we realized how much bigger, broader and more diverse the community that Her should be for, was. Not just the people that were using it but how they were using. We added the social features and we opened up who the app was for. We updated our description to make it clear that we were now here for all the female and non-binary people out there, no matter what their this article sexuality was.”
Her has a global and local feed for users to post their thoughts, so I followed along in the global discussion about the new feature. The majority of responses were supportive and positive, but some users wondered if a space that started as one for women should open their doors to other genders. I had already been messaging non-binary people, so it didn’t change how I was using the app.
The study found that, “after 44 messages you are most likely to get a positive response when you go for the digits.” Because users are relying mostly on photos (although there is an option to include small text boxes on your profile) to get a sense of who they want to message, users go into each interaction without a lot of information.
While I had a few false starts-message chains that petered out after six or seven exchanges-I actually prefer Her’s setup to OkCupid, the dating app I’ve used most in the past. Not only did I spare myself the messages from hetero couples looking to spice up their marriages, I also took more chances.
When it comes to online dating, I can be a judgmental jerk-face. Oh, you liked the wrong book? Skip. Oh, your six things you couldn’t live without weren’t creative enough? Skip. I am a terrible coward who will use any excuse I can find to avoid interaction, so the lack of information available on Her worked for me.
The other plus was that I couldn’t see how many people I’d liked. I got a notification each time one of those people also liked me, but I couldn’t scroll through the users who hadn’t responded and wonder where I went wrong (like I tend to with unanswered OkCupid messages).
It came from a personal problem: we’d been using products out there that just didn’t cut it, so we set about making something to improve the dating world for women
In the five days I used Her, I talked to 11 users, interacted with a global and local community, and (drum roll here) actually landed a date. So, while I don’t have any hacks for IRL coffee dates, I do feel a little better about my chances of going on them in the future.