Many people languish on dating apps with no real chance of getting anywhere because, frankly, they’re not very attractive.
Behind the scenes, algorithms on the likes of Tinder and OKCupid figure out how often others users swipe right on you. If the answer is “not enough”, then you get quietly relegated to a digital wilderness – and none of them will ever tell you.
None, that is, except The League – a challenger app which is unashamedly choosy about who it lets in, and has a thousands-long waiting list.
The app is already running in major US cities, and launches in London on Tuesday.
It claims to have 10,000 applicants in the city – and will let in the 2,000 whose profiles are judged the best by a combination of algorithms and human reviewers.
Winners then get three to five hand-picked matches a day, to pursue as they see fit. The other 8,000 sit on the waiting list.
But rather than being ghosted out of existence, nearly-there users will get tough-love advice on how to make the cut – including being told their photos aren’t up to scratch.
Amanda Bradford, the 30-year-old who dreamed up the app, explained to Heat Street how that works in a recent interview:
We talk about using a clear first photo, using a photo that shows you’re professional, like a headshot with a jacket on vs one where you’re shirtless drinking two beers…
The way I like to think about it is it’s not like a “no” but a “not right now”.
We like to be proactive with these users and be like “Hey, have you thought about getting a professional headshot, or wearing a jacket in one of your pictures…”
Bradford insists the process is “100 per cent not” about weeding out ugly people to create a paradise of hotties – though she did suggest that people who get rejected might stand a better chance if they lose weight.
Her stated goal is to make “power couples” of people with dynamite resumés and no time for a vapid hook-up culture.
Back in the US, The League has reportedly resulted in a slew of engagements, four weddings and one baby already, despite a relatively tiny user pool compared to giants like Tinder.
It is unclear how a British clientele – traditionally less prone to the brutal honesty that is The League’s USP – will fare with the new dating model.
But, as with most things, it never hurts to be beautiful.