Dating options for young people have never been more plentiful.
Besides major social media networks like Instagram and Snapchat, which now offer ways to talk privately with one another, there are the specialized dating apps like OkCupid and the most popular, Tinder.
But what happens to older adults? Where do they turn to find love or a date?
Stitch is a new Tinder-like dating service for adults 50-years and older. It’s the brainchild of Andrew Dowling, CEO of Tapestry: It’s online now, and soon to be an app, that allows seniors to use Facebook and other social media in a simple, accessible way.
Once the service took off Dowling realized that he had not just helped older folks with tech illiteracy, he was giving them a chance to communicate. Stitch aims to set-up people who are geographically close to each other for romance, activities or simple phone conversations.
“Companionship?” Anyone who’s ever used Tinder knows most people on there are not looking for a companion.
This is where Stitch says it’s different. They define companionship as including the entire spectrum of introducing someone new into your life. Companionship in their words “covers friends, marriage, and everything in between.” There’s less of an emphasis on sex and physical appearance and there’s no system of rating like on other apps. There isn’t even in-app messaging because as Dowling explains: “We found that our users prefer to speak on the phone.”
So maybe they’re not looking for hookups, but the idea of just how matches are made are very Tinder-ish.
It’s a simple six step process: Register, fill out your interests and intentions, Stitch will show you people in the area, get matched, talk privately on the app and then meet when you’re ready.
No personal information needs to be given until the user actually wants to.
But let’s be honest, grandma and grandpa aren’t exactly the most tech savvy people in the world so how does Stitch expect to get the technologically-shy age group to get online.
Dowling spoke with VICE about what they expect that app to be:
“We’ve been described as “Tinder for old people” but that’s actually a bit misleading. The one thing we do take from Tinder is the idea of no unsolicited contact. Our users will only be able to be contacted by someone if it’s someone they’ve already liked. Apart from that a lot of the things we do are very focused on the specific needs of older users, which means we’re quite different from Tinder. Everything: from how we verify user identities to their preference for phone calls over chat.”
Finally, senior citizens will be able to live out their golden years with like-minded friends and/or partners instead of having to wait for the grandkids to visit.
Stitch is running closed trials of their product in California and Australia.
Credit: Jonathan Muñoz