‘I know what you’re thinking … not another dating app, right?’

By Blair Waller

I don’t blame you, the past 12 months has seen a seemingly endless stream of swipe and match pretenders. Subsequently, dating apps got boring, the ego massage that was tinder had a shelf life that lapsed and people set about trying to reinvent it.

The trouble is that you can’t reinvent tinder, it was great at what it did but the novelty wore off. A million other ‘match and chat’ style apps have since surfaced hanging onto the tinder coattails. However, the ‘match and chat’ process for finding genuine connections is flawed, it doesn’t really work, it’s pretty crap.

For me this is how it worked:

You swipe. You match. You quickly unmatch because you both sobered up. You match. You chat. You get distracted. You chat some more. You go on a date. You realise you need to get the hell out of there ASAP. Then you go back to the drawing board and realise you’ve just wasted the past 2 weeks of your life chasing someone that had a personality not dissimilar to a plant pot.

This rinse, repeat plastic process is something that most dating appers have experienced and probably tired of. Unfortunately for the modern single man/woman we don’t have many other options, until now.

Dating apps are dead; that’s a good thing, right? Of course it is! Because Soda is not your typical dating app. Soda is a social dating & discovery app; new places, new faces, a cocktail of events, deals & promos all under one roof!

We took a different approach to all the others that tried to reinvent the dating game. We took a step back to a time before dating apps turned up and ended human interaction. We are going to reinvent the era when people met and connected with each other socially, like we’ve been doing since the cavemen were getting cosy. Soda is a fusion of the best of mobile technology with that old school dating fundamental.. chemistry.

So what makes us different?

The tech industry is coming under increasing scrutiny for the levels of addiction their products create. Products are being designed to keep people online for longer which is something that I stand firmly against. I wanted to create something that would make the world a more social place and buck the trend for keeping people online. I wanted to use technology to help make it easier for people to spend less time online, feel safer and be rewarded for venturing out into the real world.

  1. Less time spent online

We identified a huge downfall in the dating industry where dating apps and sites had no real desire to get their users to actually meet, and certainly no way to monitor if they had or not. Think about it, the dating app model is cannibalistic, these apps or sites lose users if they do a great job of matching people up. It’s in their best interest to ensure users remain single, which is contradictory to their core purpose.

We will be the first dating brand to measure success by the time our users spend in the real world rather than online. Unlike other apps, we don’t care about how many daily swipes or online matches are made. We care simply about the time our users spend with each other in real world surroundings. To do so we use a two stage location verification process and interval location tracking to monitor when two users head to a venue on the app, we can therefore do something no other dating app can – confirm when a match converts to a meeting.

  1. Make the users feel safer

The internet is awash with dangers and criminal activity is rife, particularly in the dating sphere. We wanted to remove these dangers with our platform so we built in a few key features to do so

  • Limited messaging – matches and messages are wiped after a 24hr period meaning the opportunity for groomers, catfish and bots has also been wiped out.
  • Verified venues  – The venues on the app are all verified, safe, public spaces. We pride ourselves on the venues we select for the app
  • Limited check-ins – Users can only see other profiles if they are genuinely interested in attending a venue or event. Once they indicate their interest in going to a venue they will be able to view other profiles also going
  • The “Hide” function – The second a user expresses interest in a venue/event they have the option to Hide / Like any other user also going. They are therefore, given complete control of where the would like to go and who they would like to chat to.
  • Limited features – we have developed a system that will remove certain privileges from users who have been reported
  1. Create a rewarding social experience

With so many digital distractions and conveniences at our fingertips it has never been more difficult to part with our pretty little smartphones, if only for a second. We therefore wanted to build a social experience so rich that it would be a no brainer to put the phone in your pocket and head out into the real world.

Rather than creating another way for people to match with each other online we took it several steps further and several steps back into the real world. Our users not only discover new people online. They discover amazing venues and events around them and also enjoy exclusive deals and promos at these places too.

So why should you download Soda? Well if you (like us) are fed up with the effort required in trying to connect with someone online, get offline with Soda and enjoy more social rewards than you can shake a stick at. It’s never been easier to connect with new people in the real world. The day of digital dating has died, social dating is the future.

Since releasing our beta version in February we have had a huge number of requests from non singles to make a strictly social version of the app because the real world rewards available through the app are so great. Watch this space on that one.

Soda is being formally launched this evening.

Blair Waller is the founder of SociaLoop.

“Our vision is to create a new social ecosystem that delivers a never before seen value cycle between consumers and businesses driven by social interaction. SociaLoop is a platform that will allow hospitality owners/managers to promote their venues, promotions and events to our ultra social user base – generated from our catalogue of social apps. Soda is the first to be launched in a collection of social interactivity apps from SociaLoop with venues, hospitality and social at it’s core.  

“When a business signs up to SociaLoop they instantly get complete clarity on marketing spend; from initial profile view to the subsequent arrival of that customer, SociaLoop monitors it all, and transforms the data into an easy to understand dashboard. It allows people to spend more time connecting socially rather than digitally and enables them access to a rewards package from the businesses listed on each app. Discounts, deals, promotions, loyalty schemes – SociaLoop provides it all. Increased benefits to customers on the front end, and increased knowledge and info for the service industry on the back end.”