New Dating App Anomo Geared Towards Introverts

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Are you the shy type? You're not alone. Many daters have trouble approaching someone new, striking up conversation, and asking someone out - even online.

That's why a new dating app called Anomo could help you in breaking the ice. Created by James Sun, a self-proclaimed introvert, the app helps shy people create an avatar - or "anomo" - to hide themselves while they strike up new conversations. In essence, they can hide behind a mask.

This might seem risky in today's dating environment, but the app verifies its users through Facebook. (Nothing is posted or shared from Facebook, and other users can't see your profile, but they do see your verification.)

The app's set-up seems simple enough. First, you choose an avatar and your age range. The app is location-based, so you'll be matched with people in your area. When you shake your phone, you and four other users the app matches you with are given five ice-breaker questions. Everyone's answers are revealed at the same time, so it encourages people to respond rather than wait and see what others have to say first. Anomo then matches you with people who responded in similar ways the next time around. Users can reveal more about themselves once a connection is made - and share real pictures, names, and professions. But until then your identity is kept hidden.

The website claims that Amono democratizes dating, adding: "First impressions are based on more than a simple photo."

While its user base is still small compared to bigger apps like Tinder and large online dating sites like OkCupid - it is very loyal and active. The app has been downloaded roughly 40,000 times, has 4,500 active daily users, and is growing by 500% every month. Sun claims that users open the app roughly 19 times per day compared to Facebook's users which average only 14 times per day. And the majority of the app's users - 95% - are aged 15 to 20, a highly desirable demographic for any website or app.

But what about the risk of Internet trolls? Does Anomo encourage this kind of behavior since people can interact anonymously?

While it seems that Amono's users might hide behind false identities or make inappropriate comments, Sun told website Mashable that he's only seen three complaints out of four million posts on their main message board. Ironically, many of the users do like gathering around the main message board as well as doing the small group ice breakers. Likely because of their masks.

If you've ever felt shy about asking someone out, Anomo might be worth a look.