Dating apps have become a huge part of our everyday life. Thanks to algorithms, we are all now able to get in touch with people, select and meet them just through the screen of our mobile phones. Even though dating apps were already popular before the pandemic, now that our way of socialising has modified forever, they are expanding even more.
There are actually apps for every kind of encounter. Tinder, grinder, meet up… but not only! If you are looking for a safe space to meet other girls and to become part of girls communities you feel you belong to, then Hey Vina is what you should go for.
Founded in 2016 by CEO Olivia June in San Francisco, Vina is a tech company financed by Greylock. In the same year the team decided to launch Hey Vina, a girls-only meeting app aiming to celebrate and empower women.
“It was so difficult for me to meet new friends when I moved to a new city, and I tried so many things!”, June tells _shift. “It only takes one friend to change your life for the better, and I wanted everyone to feel that joy that I felt when I finally was able to build a good network of friends.” When June moved to San Francisco right after college, the possibility to have a safe space to meet female friends online was still an unexplored area.
Once understood that her needs corresponded to a lack of opportunities to safely create communities of women online, June decided to turn her intuition into an actual business. “I quit my executive leadership position in a fast-growing start-up and pursued bringing Vina to life. I wanted to build a tech company like nobody had ever seen before,” she continues. June was 29 when she decided to reinvent herself and pursue Vina as a full-time commitment, confident that the most successful businesses are all good problem solvers.
The app works following the same format as Tinder. Women can download the app and create a profile in which they can add a picture and all the personal information they want to share. Users can then browse other people by swiping left or right to express their interest. The matches proposed by the app are selected depending on your location, age and interests. Once you express your interest in another user, you need to wait until the other profile matches you as well.
In terms of safety then, the team adopted some measures to protect the women using the app. According to Vina website: “Linking to Facebook allows us to validate your gender and bring in some of your basic profile details.” Once linked the profile to Facebook, the app asks you to add an instantaneous picture of yourself to double-check your identity. This keeps women safe from dangerous people. Along with this, for those who don’t have a Facebook profile, the team is developing new login methods to keep the platform safe.
According to June, the pandemic has changed people perspectives and needs, and the attitude towards meeting apps has been revolutionised. “We have seen a lot of momentum after the pandemic, and I think that’s because a lot of people made big life changes and also the stigma was completely removed because there were no longer any other options,” she says.
According to Market Watch, many dating apps have registered an increase in the number of users since the pandemic started. Tinder reported that in 2020, people used the app more than they have ever had, while Hinge’s income tripled from 2019 to 2020. The New York Times stated that the app Ok chodit s heterosexuГЎlem Cupid registered a 680 per cent increase in the use of the world “vaccinated” in users’ accounts as a demonstration of how people feel safer to meet each other.
People are gradually going back to their normal lives after many changes, and it is not easy for everyone to adapt. Thanks to Hey Vina, many girls created strong connections with people sharing their same values and interests. Sometimes is good for us to realise how beneficial online platforms can be when created to help others.
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