Coffee Meets Bagel, an online dating site that provides a friend-of-a-friend match every day, is now making matches nationwide. Launched in New York City in 2012, the startup is also today releasing its iOS app, which includes the same features as the free web service.
Co-founder Dawoon Kang says that with the new iOS app, Coffee Meets Bagel is looking for the happy medium between traditional subscription services and newer, casual dating apps. ”We want to deliver you a very good-quality match, one that you would expect from subscription services, but with the fun of mobile apps,” Kang says.
For those unfamiliar, Coffee Meets Bagel works like this: After signing up through Facebook, you can specify such information as religion, ethnicity, height and personal details about yourself, as well as what you look for in a date. At noon each day, you then receive one match, or “bagel” as the company calls them, that has some sort of connection to you. You then have a time limit to either “Pass” or “Like.” If two people mutually like each other, they are put in touch through a private company texting line. Kang says the one-match-a-day approach is meant to keep users from feeling overwhelmed and to keep them engaged.
The service is designed to be as gamified as possible. Users earn coffee beans in the app by inviting friends, filling out information or similar actions. They can then use beans to buy special features. Sixty-five beans reveals your match’s mutual friends, 265 lets you go back to a missed match and 500 beans gives you a score and ranking. Coffee Meets Bagel also sells coffee beans, which Kang tells me are bought by 3 to 5 percent of their users.