How About We

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How About We Summary

HowAboutWe.com flips the script on traditional online dating by asking members to pitch their date ideas, not themselves. Their unique activity-based approach to dating makes the online part easier so you can get to the dating part faster. It’s a more fun and more natural way to meet people online, whether you’re looking for your soulmate or simply an enjoyable way to pass an afternoon.

Regions: United States

Service Type: General

Looking For: Activity Partner, Dating, Friends, Long-Term, Marriage

To find out what this service provides you can check out our complete list of HowAboutWe.com features.

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How About We App Re-Launches with New “On-Demand” Feature TONIGHT

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Are you tired of reading endless online dating profiles or answering questions about what kind of food you like to eat? How about messaging potential dates back and forth, hoping that maybe eventually you’ll get to meet in person?

Or perhaps you’re tired of swiping left and right on Tinder, messaging your matches back and forth, only to have them disappear before you’ve even met - such a waste of time!

Okay, maybe using Tinder is not the time drag that other online dating sites can be – like Match.com, eHarmony, or even OkCupid - where you peruse long profiles and can message endlessly without ever getting to the date. HowAboutWe thinks they can appeal to the embattled Tinder user by getting to the actual date much faster. This week, they announced a new “on-demand” feature called TONIGHT for the re-launch of their dating app.

With TONIGHT, users can choose to look for a date – to be specific, for tonight – pick a time, and HowAboutWe will search through potential matches for people who’ve also opted in for a date tonight. In about five minutes, according to the company, the service will send a push notification asking users to look at potential dates and double-tap on the ones that they’d like to go out with. Once everyone has made their selections, How About We matches them in couples (based on profile factors), and sends both users into a text conversation. Then they can accept the date.

While this might seem a little more complicated than choosing someone on Tinder, How About We is more focused on the date itself. When you sign up for HowAboutWe, the app asks you to share what you would like to do on a first date, as well as the usual info (age, location, orientation, etc). You can play it safe and choose “Get a coffee,” or opt for a more creative choice (i.e. “Get your Instagram on at a local antiques shop.”) Your profile isn’t the first thing everyone sees about you, it’s your date idea. HowAboutWe is experience-driven, although profile photos still figure prominently into the scenario.

HowAboutWe has always focused on the real-life meet-up more than the online back-and-forth, so this is a natural next step. The service’s re-launch also includes a “Pool,” or a swipe-based feed for matches similar to Tinder, and “Connections,” a highly targeted daily set of potential matches.

Depending on the length of subscription you choose, membership ranges from $10 to $20 per month. Messaging back and forth between mutual matches are free, but if you’re looking to score outside a match, you need to pay the upgrade. 

Dating Giant IAC Buys How About We

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IAC is positioning itself to be the center of the online dating world. Its 150 brands are cornering the market, particularly Match.com, OkCupid, and popular dating app Tinder. Now, it’s added How About We to its roster. Neither IAC or How About We disclosed the purchase price.

How About We offers a unique twist in online dating – focusing on the offline part of the process. Members can create date ideas, post them to How About We, and see if anyone cares to join them on the date. This bypasses the typical process of scrolling through profiles and matches as you would do on other sites.

The company has gone through a lot of changes in the last couple of years, starting with broadening its reach to include curated dating services for couples (extending their user base and approach beyond just the singles market). More recently, the company purchased popular online dating site Nerve.com, and added three new content websites to the mix to offer editorial on dating advice, celebrities, sex, relationships, and other hot topics.

Did it spread itself too thin?

According to the New York Times, How About We co-founder Aaron Schildkrout (now the chief executive for This Life, Inc., the parent company of How About We) thinks this will only broaden their opportunities. “We spent the last five years building and scaling HowAboutWe; our unique ‘offline dating’ experience has been used by millions of people and has helped many, many people fall in love. Our new partnership with IAC will help us bring this dating experience to an even larger number of people than ever before.”

This contradicts his statements earlier this year, where he positioned the company to compete heavily with IAC. “The online dating business is completely monopolized — IAC owns online dating,” Schechter told Fortune in January. “So what we’re trying to do is build a media company whose sole focus is love. And we think that’s the way to beat IAC.”

The How About We dating service and media properties were sold to IAC, but a portion of the company remains independent: the couples service. Last month, employees were reportedly left in the dark about whether or not they would be fired in the wake of the acquisition, with some being promised they would stay only later to find that offer recanted.

According to the New York Times, some employees will be moving to IAC, others will be staying to work on the couples service, and some have been laid off.

IAC Positioned to Take Over How About We

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The reach of IAC in online dating is enviable to its competition. The company owns Match.com, OkCupid, and has a majority stake in Tinder, and now they are looking to acquire a new company with a sizable chunk of the online dating market – How About We.

The buzz has already been growing about the possible acquisition, at least among the company’s employees. When there’s speculation about such a move, the first thing on employees’ minds is – will we still have a job after this acquisition happens?

According to a letter obtained by Business Insider, co-founder Brian Schechter addressed employees directly about the matter:

Indeed, we are still finalizing a deal and zero final decisions have been made. That a deal is even a possibility should remain completely confidential. I know this is a bumpy – and let’s face it – a weird moment but we should proceed in a manner that is really smart, graceful, and empowering for everyone.

It is a strange move considering the recent history of How About We. Earlier this year the company snatched up Nerve.com to compete with IAC. How About We wanted to build its brand in a different way – through its content and unique premise, including three new websites created in addition to Nerve.com. They also wanted to appeal to couples as well as singles, putting more marketing efforts into their How About We for couples date planning service. Most importantly, they wanted to distinguish themselves from the online dating giant IAC.

Despite the potentially lucrative news for co-founders Brian Schechter and Aaron Schildkraut, things have not been going smoothly, at least as far as employee trust and loyalty.

According to Business Insider, to whom the original letter was leaked, one staffer claims many employees had individual meetings with Schechter and Schildkrout last week on Wednesday and Thursday in a glass-walled conference room. During those meetings, the staffer said they were notified they could be fired due to budgetary restrictions when the company transitions to IAC. The founders relayed that after Monday they would know "how many people can stay."

However, it was also reported that three employees were later texted that they would be able to keep their jobs. However, Schechter recanted the offer when one of those employees reminded him of a recent raise.

Regardless of what ends up happening with the acquisition, the handling of it has been anything but “smart, graceful or empowering.” Maybe it’s time for How About We to end the date and move on.

How About We CEO Aaron Schildkrout opens up in Recent Interview

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There are many online dating sites and mobile apps competing for the same market of single men and women, looking for innovative ways to position themselves differently than “just another dating site/app.” But How About We continues to make innovative moves in this industry and buck the trends, including its initial hook – taking online dating offline for better results. Now they're also offering services to couples and getting into the digital content space.

Online Personals Watch recently interviewed CEO Aaron Schildkrout about the success and challenges of How About We, the choices he’s made, and what he wants to do next with the brand.

How About We is focusing on the couples space, since Schildkrout claims it will be "twenty times bigger" than the dating space will be. The fundamental problem with dating sites is that it works to their advantage for people to stay single and looking, so the focus is on gathering more subscribers, not necessarily making a product that helps customers meet their goals of finding partners. Shildkrout maintains that meeting up in the real world works better for singles, which is why they made it their focus.

HowAboutWe Launches New Messaging App for Couples

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Dating apps are trying to step up their game and attract more users in order to compete with each other more effectively. After all, quantity means success in the online dating game, as we’ve seen first from established online dating sites like Match.com and now from popular apps like Tinder.

Because of the stiff competition, HowAboutWe is taking extra steps to distinguish itself in the online dating world – namely, by cultivating relationships instead of keeping more people in the dating game. This month, they launched a new standalone messaging app for couples that lets two partners share multiple types of content and create a story together.

The new app is You&Me, and it gives users a chance to have a little mobile fun with their relationship. It is an app that provides direct, exclusive communication between you and your partner.

With You&Me, you now have options for the types of messages you can send your love – photo, text and video messages – as well as the ability to send voice memos and a favorite song. “This made me think of you” is one response you can send, along with a picture or video, or “is there anything you need me to pick up at the store?” if you are looking for something more practical.

Plus, there are extra features like Photobooth, which offers a similar experience to the old-fashioned kind you used to do with friends at an amusement park or arcade, with a screenshot resembling a film strip of the different faces you made. Halfsie takes a Front-Back style photo of half of your face on top (nose up) and half of your partner’s (nose down) on the bottom. Secret sends a “steamed up” photo that the recipient must wipe clear to see. Sexy.

Interestingly, the app is responsive and knows when you are physically together in real life. The interface changes to reflect that. This makes me a little uncomfortable. Do I want my phone to be so aware of my movements with my partner?

HowAboutWe has ventured into new territory with online dating, first offering an online dating site that was driven by creativity – that is, a date idea – instead of based solely on profiles. They then extended the brand to include married couples in HowAboutWe for couples, providing date ideas and services to help you plan and execute the date. Plus, it offered discounts on unique local experiences to each city.

Recently, the company has acquired a series of media properties that discuss all things sex, love and dating, including Nerve.com.

The app is free and available only on iTunes, so you must both have iPhones to be able to use it.

For more on this dating service including the new couples app please read our review of How About We.

HowAboutWe Co-Founder Talks Online Dating Sites and the Company’s New Focus

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Aaron Schildkrout and his friend Brian Schechter founded HowAboutWe four years ago as an alternative to traditional online dating. In a recent article in The New York Observer, he said that the fundamental problem with online dating sites was that they needed to keep subscribers. The sites work best when people are looking for dates, not when they are in relationships and dropping out. Dating sites depend on a huge database of subscribers.

HowAboutWe’s focus is a bit different for an online dating site. For one, they have branched out from their online dating platform to creating a valuable resource for all people interested in dating and relationships.

The primary goal of their dating site is to help people meet offline (and get them there as quickly as possible), so they can move towards forming relationships. Instead of searching through profiles, members can create an idea for a first date, put it out to the network, and see who’s interested. Schildkrout says it’s a way for people to meet more organically.

Because of the site’s focus on date activities, it was a natural progression to create a site for couples who are looking to be inspired. Many couples are bored with the same old dates they do all the time, but don’t have the time to research or a lot of money to do something more unique. This is where HowAboutWe comes in – they curate dates particular to each city they service, and set the whole thing up for a discounted price.

It’s an appealing idea for couples. As Schildkrout says, “We make the booking process and the reservation process extremely easy — you never have to show a voucher, your name’s already on the list. We do all the work for you. We take care of all the details.”

The company is also getting into media content, acquiring sites like The Date Report and Nerve.com and creating two additional new blogs related to dating and relationships. “We built out a world-class editorial team,” says Shildkrout, “and for the last three months, we’ve been working really hard to create a media wing focused on becoming the authoritative voice on all things love, and have grown traffic dramatically in that process.”

Popular apps like Tinder and the bigger or more traditional dating sites like OkCupid don’t seem to bother Shildkrout. He sees Tinder as more of a lightweight hook-up experience and OkCupid as an algorithm-matching experience which might not match you with someone outside your type. He is focused on his product, on connecting people in a real-world way. And he’s looking to build content that gets a conversation started.