Hudi Charin tells us if she’s in love with the dating app developed by University of Bristol Psychology researchers exclusively for UoB students.
Confronted with a photo of Hellman’s Mayonnaise, I have to admit I was a bit taken aback by my first encounter with ENTWINE. This is The University of Bristol’s answer to the age old conundrum of finding a date.
We live in a world where everyone seems to be on at least one dating app, or simply spending a lot of time chuckling over mate’s screenshots of ceaselessly eloquent chat-up lines. So what makes this new app different?
Created by Dr Roland Baddeley and Dr Felix Mercer Moss from the School of Experimental Psychology, ENTWINE asks users to evaluate three different photos of potential dates. It is based on the premise that analysis of these three swipes will be more accurate than other apps which create matches by, for instance, asking questions about our hobbies.
Unfortunately, it makes this quite difficult when creating a profile. Unlike with other apps where you can happily nick a catchy bio off the internet and load your favourite filtered summer snaps, your only info on ENTWINE is these 3 photos. To make matters more difficult, you have to take these selfies through the app, so no cheeky Valencia filter there.
Don’t get me started on the side view selfie, which may or may not have made me consider rhinoplasty for a few moments.
Not just that, but the premise of these pictures is that they show three angles of your face: straight on, side view, and classic slightly-above head height selfie angle. With the first two photos, I felt like I’d regressed to photography from the ‘90s. Here was my face, straight on, with no filter. Shock. Horror. And don’t get me started on the side view selfie, which may or may not have made me consider rhinoplasty for a few moments.
In some ways, this is an interesting psychological debate in itself. We’ve got so accustomed to showing potential partners our most edited selves, that when it comes to taking a very standard head-shot, it’s almost impossible to click ‘submit.’
After taking a few minutes (read: 45 minutes, not including retouching of makeup and a shot of vodka) to take the three photos, I got into the fun part: the swiping.
It turns out the Mayonnaise photo is just part of the demo. Admittedly, there is an orange bar at the top that reads DEMO, but if you –like me- aren’t especially observant, here is your heads up. Other demo photos include snaps of light bulbs, and walls. If you persevere past this slightly dodgy intro to get to the actual app, you’re one step closer to finding love with a fellow Bristolian…
It’s quite daunting to download an app where you know everyone you see could feasibly sit next to you on the 16 bus or in a lecture
Which brings me on to another of the issues. At the moment, the app is only available for UoB students. It’s quite daunting to download an app where you know everyone you see could feasibly sit next to you on the 16 bus or in a lecture. On the other hand, Facebook was initially only for Harvard students, so let’s dream big, people.
Of course the main thing you want to know about a dating app is whether or not you’ll get any dates. I’m ashamed to say that after having an account for three days, I have not had any matches… Whether or not that is because of my highly flattering photos or the lack of people currently using the app, only time will tell.
As Dr Moss has said ‘you may not find love’ on the app, but if you can get through the mayonnaise and the brutal selfie taking, then hopefully you’ll be more successful than me.
Any student with a University of Bristol email account can sign up to the app through the Apple App Store by searching for Entwine or visiting the web address https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/entwine/id1136635670?ls=1&mt=8
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