Contributed by: ElyseRomano Monday, July 16 2018 @ 07:48 am
Happn - the dating app that matches you with people who have crossed your path IRL - has always raised eyebrows. Despite assurances to the contrary[*1] from Didier Rappaport, the app’s co-founder and CEO, concerned singles continue to fear its location-tracking functionality could be misused by suitors with creepy, or possibly dangerous, intentions.
Happn remains undeterred from its mission, and starting next month, will offer users yet another way to identify their missed connections.
The new interactive map allows users to discover people they’ve crossed paths with over the past week. Tap locations you visited over the last seven days to reveal the profiles of others who hit the same spots. This is different from Happn’s standard functionality in that it allows users to travel back in time by retracing other users' steps, rather than being limited solely to current data.
“The crossing of paths between two people has always been the DNA of Happn,” says Rappaport. “With Happn maps, we go further in our promise by separating the dimensions of space and time, because time flies, but places stay still. The profiles are no longer only sorted in chronological order and in real time but also according to your place of geographical crossings.”
The map seems to be Happn’s take on Tinder Places (which itself appears to be based on Happn’s geolocation features), but Rappaport insists he feels no pressure from his competitor.
“We don’t see it as a threat at all but as a good thing,” he told TechCrunch[*2] . “We are very flattered that Tinder wants to include the same feature in its product. However, we will never use the swipe in our product.”
Users were quick to express concern that Happn’s new map could compromise their privacy. By indicating locations they spend significant time in, they argue, the app could inadvertently reveal their homes or places of work. The risk increases when the app stores a week’s worth of location data.
Happn has stated that the new feature doesn’t collect any extra information; it merely uses the same geolocation data that’s already employed to help users scroll through their timelines.
Those who are particularly concerned about privacy can enable Happn’s invisibility mode, which allows users to temporarily conceal their profiles at specific points during the day. Invisibility mode can be used for up to eight hours at a time to block places you regularly visit, like work or the gym. Users who pay for a subscription can schedule invisibility mode to active automatically at certain times.
A premium subscription starts at $19.99 for a one month membership, and as Happn makes more data available, an increasing number of users are likely to agree that you can’t put a price on privacy.
Happn started in 2014 and claims to have nearly 50 million users worldwide (in 40 countries) with 6.5 million monthly users. For more information on this service you can read our Happn app review.