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Here’s the first dating app to introduce voice messaging

Happn continues effort to add human touch to online dating

Happn adds voice messaging

The dating app Happn will include a voice messaging feature in the future (soon presumably, since an official date to introduce this feature hasn’t been announced), according to Business Insider. This new feature is a continuation of the app’s efforts to put more of a human touch in online dating.

“For us, the evolution of our product is really important,” Happn CEO Didier Rappaport told Business Insider. “We want to make a service that is more and more rich for our users and one that allows them to express themselves much more.

“The voice is something that is very emotional. Just listening to the voice of someone else can give you a lot of impression.”

I guess getting strings of angry messages from pissed-off matches is too impersonal; hearing them yell at you via the app will enhance many user experiences! And getting overly-sexual messages isn’t quite vivid enough; female Happn users would much prefer to hear their matches’ voices in phone-sex style opening messages.

In all seriousness, this voice feature does have the potential to take cyberbullying to the next level. Most users would probably agree it’s easier to brush off a hurtful message than an abusive verbal rant delivered through voice message. Unwanted sexual advances would also be a lot more vivid over voice than they are through text.

But it’s an interesting concept, since phone calls are kind of a lost art, particularly among millennials. And according to Mehrabian’s Theory, 38 percent of how people interpret messages is based on the tone in the other person’s voice. Through text the theory isn’t applicable, but voice messaging on Happn would reintroduce this dimension of communication that could work in your favor, assuming your speaking abilities are up to par.

But can online daters be trusted to use the voice messaging feature as it is intended? I think common sense dictates the novelty will wear off quickly and users will want a way to disable it.

Happn launched in Paris in 2014, and Rappaport told Business Insider that his app could match or overtake Tinder in the online dating world by 2017. He also said Happn has 8 million users, with 1.2 million new users signing up every month.

Happn will also allow you to sync your profile with Instagram, a feature Tinder has already implemented which I still recommend you avoid. Although, Tinder recently added more information about users on their profiles, such as where you went to school, so it’s becoming harder and harder to maintain a line between your online dating life and your real life.

Time will tell how that plays out.

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About Luke Harold Luke Harold is a journalist who has written for publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Orange County Register.

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