Meet the new dating app that actually lets you express yourself

Sep 24 2020, 4:31 pm

As the crisp fall air settles in and the leaves become tinged with vibrant colours, we can officially say that cuffing season is upon us. There’s just something about the cooler months that can make coupling-up seem all the more enticing.

Maybe it’s the prospect of forthcoming occasions — think couples Halloween costumes, holiday get-togethers, and cozying up with your significant other on a brisk night. If you’re still looking for the peanut butter to your jelly or [insert other cheesy couple’s costume here], there’s a new app in town that’s taking a refreshing approach to online dating.

Dating platform Spark recently launched in Canada with the aim of encouraging users to harness their individuality. As such, the app’s unique framework was designed with self-expression, acceptance, and vulnerability in mind.

Looking to quell the feelings of disillusionment many are facing when it comes to the world of online dating, its creators sought to provide an alternative to mindless swiping and the traditional landscape of many of today’s dating apps.

By rejecting the conventions of regular dating platforms, Spark intends to connect people in a broad-ranging, all-embracing way. Whether you’re simply looking to chat with another person, seeking a connection outside of traditional norms, or just want to find someone to rally behind a common cause, the app can be customized to your own individual needs — free from the restraints of standard dating culture.

Rooted in the firm belief that it’s better to be interesting than to be perfect, the app is designed to help you see the people behind the profiles. Swiping fatigue is real, which Spark tackles by allowing you to see someone’s full profile before deciding whether there’s a *spark* or not.

Its unique “frames” are fuelled by self-expression and designed to foster creativity and mindful connections. Much like Snapchat or Instagram, the app allows you to add frames to your profiles — like fun filters, stickers, or games that reveal your inner quirks.

Interactive features, like quiz screens, can be added to the frames on your profile and are meant to help you connect on the things that matter. For example, you have the option to select three images that correspond to hobbies you love. The quiz is then repositioned to potential matches as “what hobbies could we do together?” — encouraging others to guess your favourite activities and bond over shared interests.

Other quizzes include preferred vacation destinations, favourite drinks, and ideal first date activities. If you guess the person’s interests correctly, direct messaging opens up automatically. Get it wrong, and you’ll have to settle for sending a “Spark” notification to let them know you’re interested until they message you back.

It’s all about bypassing the copy-paste responses and getting right into the nitty-gritty with some icebreakers. The app also encourages you to spend time crafting a profile that truly reflects your personality.

Spark plans to constantly continue adding new frames to keep the platform fresh and captivating, so you don’t have to swipe through one identical profile after another (aka no more photos of dudes holding fish).

TikTok-inspired video chat features, like “Change My Mind,” are also meant to spark conversation and allow you to put your unique views on display. Users can upload short videos expressing their opinions — like whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza — and invite others to send a rebuttal. It’s a fun, flirty way to animate your profile and get to know potential matches.

The founders behind the eccentric platform believe users are united by a common desire to authentically connect with others. Each feature is designed to highlight individuality and promote vulnerability so people can get to the bottom of what really matters to them when it comes to online dating.

Ready to say no to mindless swiping and yes to mindful matching? Download the Spark App to create your own profile (or do your single friends a favour and send them a link). Note, the app is currently only available on iOS, with an Android launch expected later this year.

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