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MODERN LOVE

New dating apps cater to niche audiences

Youth are heavily dependent on technology when it comes to facilitating many aspects of their lives, and dating is no exception. But rather than wasting time mindlessly swiping left or right, young people want personalized and meaningful connections upfront. The following dating apps cater to specific audiences, helping users find love and friendship through the filter of their own unique needs and passions.

DIG

Millennials increasingly view their pets as “fur babies,” and the Dig app utilizes this love for dogs as a baseline for youth to find human companionship. Described as “the dog person’s dating app,” Dig gives users the ability to filter potential matches by dog ownership and by the size and breed of users’ canine companions, giving dog lovers access to certain criteria to find the best matches for themselves—and their beloved pets. Launched in Denver earlier this month, Dig lets users decide if they “dig,” “really dig,” or “pass” on other users and then helps them plan dog-friendly dates around the city.

HIKI

Despite the fact that autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S., the austic population is largely overlooked by online dating and social platforms. To address this issue, Jamil Karriem developed Hiki, the first dating app designed for those in the autistic community. Hiki, which means “able” in Hawaiian, is a safe platform for people across the autism spectrum to find love, friendship, and a sense of community. The Hiki app intends to break stigmas around autism and help people with this disability form meaningful connections. The app has already garnered a flood of positive responses across the community since its beta launch in June.

COVE

Derived from a combination of“COmmunication and loVE,” new dating app Cove targets consumers who want to forge deeper connections in the digital realm. Users have seven days to get to know a match through conversations that begin with text messages before progressing into audio and then video messages, all within the app. Cove is also outfitted with in-app games that are intended to gain insight into users’ opinions on a wide range of topics to better connect them with compatible matches. Users have the ability to win points which can then be exchanged for rewards or donated to charities, a move that capitalizes on youths’ penchant for gamified incentives.