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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Happn: Craigslist Missed Connections 2.0?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 4:30 PM

HAPPN
  • Happn
In theory, the Craigslist “missed connections” page is a really good idea. We all make fun of it, but we’ve definitely all had that moment when we make flirtatious eye contact with someone on BART for the duration of the ride and spend the rest of the day wondering who that cutie in the blue shirt was (here’s looking at you, Richmond-bound train September 2012. Hit me up.)

But in reality, who comes home after such an instance and immediately hops on Craigslist to see if the other person has written a post about them? Probably, almost no one — it’s easier just to scroll though Tinder.

This was one of Paris-based entrepreneur Dider Rappaport’s inspirations behind founding Happn, a new app that’s basically like Craigslist missed connections and Tinder rolled into one.

Like Tinder, Happn users create a profile with their name, age, and location, and adjust their preferences so they're shown only the users within an age range and proximity of their choice.

Like the missed connections page, Happn shows users everyone they’ve passed by, or has passed by them, who also has the app—people on BART, people in the grocery store, and apparently, even people who walk by your house as you’re making your lunch and your phone starts blowing up with notifications, which is what happened to me when I downloaded the app.

Users can either “like” other users by clicking the heart button, or send the user a “charm.” If both users like each other or send each other charms, they can then have a conversation.

Note that sending a charm costs “one credit” for men, but is free for women, because according to Rappaport, “in Europe, it is like that.”

The app was launched in Paris in early 2014 and has since been expanded to several major cities in Europe and South America, and also L.A., Boston, and of course San Francisco. There are 2 million Happn users to date.

With Happn, “you can meet people who live in the same area and who you have crossed paths many times, but you’ve never seen them,” says Rappaport.

"It's someone you could have met anywhere," adds Marie Cosnard, the head of media relations at Happn. "It could be someone who works near you, so you would already have that common interest."

Rappaport’s main impetus behind creating the app was to “bring reality back into the digital world of dating.”

“People need to feel reality in the digital world,” says Rappaport.

So why use online methods of dating at all?

“Dating people is a very common need, especially in big cities where it’s so crowded,” says Rappaport. “People really need an app to meet or date other people.”

However, unlike Tinder, Rappaport stated that Happn is “not for sex.”

“We want to make an app for just meeting,” says Rappaport.

Intrigued? Check out the app and see who you might "happn" upon.

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Jessica Nemire

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