Community & Society
Valentine’s Day is just like that ex (yeah, that one). When it’s good, you’re happy, colors are vibrant and you find joy even in chalky, hard heart-shaped candy. And when it’s bad, you feel like you’re in the scene in the eponymous movie when Jennifer Garner destroys the piñata with a baseball bat.
February 14 is the high-pressure holiday when Americans turn a critical eye to their love lives. It’s no surprise that an estimated 9 million people in the U.S. put a ring on it on Valentine’s Day last year, but what you won’t see on Instagram is millions breaking up on or near Valentine’s Day.
Breakups peak on Red Tuesday, the Tuesday prior, and attorneys will notice the yearly spike in divorce filings the week of the 19th. The common denominator is failing to meet expectations. The Knot reported more than 50 percent of women confessed, “[she] would break up with a significant other if [she] does not receive a gift on Valentine’s Day,” which explains the $18.2 billion industry.
The single population grows in March, the official end of “cuffing season,” the cold-weather period when people settle into relationships. Spring brings singles back on the scene and an increase in relationship seekers adds an influx of opportunity for dating app users.
If you find yourself reeling from a rough holiday, have faith. The day will come when you put down the chocolates and wine and face the world again. The only question is which dating app will get you there? Tinder is a sea of habitual swipers: it can be a lot of fun but you don’t know whether they’re just bored, looking for a relationship, something in between, or if they’re even real people. Bumble is a similar, female-initiated version, which some boast as empowering and others criticize as perpetuating a laissez-faire culture among single men.
Say Allo is a Denver-founded dating app rooted in artificial intelligence that matches those looking for a true connection with long-term potential. It’s not a standard “hot-or-not” app. As founder Zackary Lewis says, “It cuts through the superficial landscape in the industry and will lead the ‘compatibility revolution’ to change the way people date.”
“Say Allo is Tinder meets eHarmony with the brains of Amazon,” says Lewis. Say Allo follows the popular, gamified swipe format but adds 10 questions to filter out potential preliminary deal breakers including politics, religion and children.
The differentiator is artificial intelligence, powered by facial-recognition technology and turbocharged with data from Facebook. The “brain” of the app measures data-driven compatibility scores for each potential match. As you swipe, the app collects data points to “learn” your preferences and gets “smarter” over time to match you with someone you are likely to like. It’s open to all demographics looking to meet quality matches. Say Allo caters to the 30s-50s subset who have been on and off of a variety of apps and are ready for their “last first kiss.”
The heavily-tested user experience offers features that aren’t available elsewhere. Say Allo encourages in-app video dates. This eliminates the opportunity for anyone to “catfish” or misrepresent themselves so you can discover if there is chemistry early on. Video dates are scheduled in advance through the app, similar to scheduling a business meeting invitation.
Say Allo was originally coined “Baggage” based on the reason cited for Lewis’ fresh breakup at the time. The idea was born on a vision-quest motorcycle ride in Vietnam. When Lewis, self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur by heart,” was newly single, he knew exactly what he wanted (and didn’t) in a dating app. His extensive background in tech, having recently emerged from the streaming space, brought his vision to fruition. He enlisted the right partners, then spent two and a half years researching and testing. Say Allo launched in Denver in March of 2017, expanded nationwide in October and is currently opening its borders internationally.
Dating profiles are typically rife with handstands, funny faces, high angles, head tilts, side angles and sunglasses. Lewis hypothesizes it’s because users have a hard time objectively looking at themselves, particularly in photos. He recommends being genuine and showing your true self in the six available photo slots; context is important yet secondary. The app offers native tips on how your profile is performing, which is helpful for optimization. Adding a description to your profile alone, increases your chances of getting a match by 50 percent.
Lewis says, Say Allo is “changing lives one swipe at a time” and receives success stories on a weekly basis from users who found love. Its mission is to retrain users to slow down for one second to treat each swipe as a lifelong decision because you never know when it just might be.
If there’s a match out there as intuitive, committed responsive to your desires and as intelligent as Say Allo (sans the artificial component): marry him or her. Until then, don’t stress over V-Day and keep a piñata on hand in case of emergency.
Say Allo: Intelligent Dating Discovery
By Unpack’d Technologies, LLC
2001 W. 35th Ave., Denver
Danielle Yuthas is a Denver native, journalist and digital marketer for franchise brands. This is her first article for Colorado Expression; her byline has also appeared in the Huffington Post Travel Blog and local publications. She is passionate about artificial intelligence technology as well as swiping.
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