Kim Kaplan of ‘TikTok Meets Tinder’ Relationship App Snack – Crunchbase Information
Tick tock has never been bigger and singles have never been more lonely.
The social video app, which was very popular before the pandemic, blew up when the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to isolate and entertain themselves at home.
And it was TikTok that inspired Kim Kaplan to begin snack, a new video first dating app.
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Kaplan who previously worked on the dating site Lots of fish For about a decade, she got the idea for Snack around March 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, but when she blew up TikTok and the content on the platform only reinforced her belief that video dating was the next big thing Thing for dating would be world.
She set out to fundraise for Snack in September, and the company announced a $ 3.5 million pre-seed round in February that was officially launched on iOS.
As someone who was both obsessed with TikTok and got single (unrelated) last year, I was intrigued by the idea of combining TikTok and Tinder for a video dating experience. So I downloaded Snack and had a chat with CEO Kaplan about the app, the future of video and dating, and the people who got that message “Hey” first.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Sophia Kunthara: Tell me a little bit about snack and how does it work?
Kim Kaplan: There are a lot of interfaces like TikTok and we just scroll through instead of swiping. But what did we take Tinder is … that kind of matching mechanism. Once you both like each other, you can actually start messaging each other.
But what we changed from Tinder is that on Tinder you match up and then get thrown onto a different UX and screen where you start messaging each other. While at Snack, if you and I liked each other, your videos will show up on my feed more often, now you have a DM box instead of the light little heart button. So you can send messages directly from the videos …
What really led to this idea, and how I came up with it, was when I was talking to Gen Z about how they are currently dating. And they said, “Okay, we use tinder, we use bumblebee because we have to, but as soon as we fit together we move in at once Grab it or to Instagram. ”
And the reason they do this is to secretly flirt with each other so they can keep uploading content and then react to people’s content. As opposed to an immediate pressure that says, “OK, now we’ve adjusted. Do you want a coffee “…. You get to know someone a little more slowly and more naturally.
SK: This is true. I think when you agree with someone it’s like, “What’s your Instagram?” and you move there
KK: Snack is a type: you can still flirt and have that light conversation if you engage with the content of someone who keeps posting it. … If you are thinking about dating today, this is a static profile. You upload your five pictures, write your paragraph about yourself and then somehow send it there and never touch it again. While Snack is more of a TikTok or Instagram where you keep uploading new content. And showing someone what’s going on in your life and giving them the opportunity to have that conversation with you.
SK: What nooks and crannies did you see in dating apps and why did you want to create something that was really video-first?
KK: Historically, dating apps have traditionally launched new sales channels. I firmly believe that this next wave will come from TikTok and influencers, and that TikTok is kind of a new sales channel. And here I saw the opportunity.
I used TikTok one day and kind of scrolled through people’s videos. I came across this woman’s video and it was a Chase Rice song. I remember clearly like a day and she did the “What’s your name? What is your star sign? How old are you? Where are you from?”
And that lightbulb went out in my head and I said, “Oh my god, she’s trying to date.” I clicked the song to see how many other people made these type of videos. And there were over 130,000 videos credited to that one song.
And as I flipped through examples of these videos, I found that most of the people who made these were also trying to keep up to date. Then she had the hashtag #single in her description of the video and I clicked it and there were over 13 billion views of the hashtag #single at that point. It was then that I realized there is this underbelly of dating trying to happen on TikTok.
SK: In the dating sector, we had a really historic IPO this year bumblebee and Whitney Wolfe flock being the youngest female founder to take a company public. Do you think the future of dating apps will be these niche dating apps?
KK: There have been a number of niche strategies in recent years. And I actually think there’s going to be another big player out there, and that’s exactly what I think ultimately, we’re building with Snack. Just because video isn’t mainstream today doesn’t mean it won’t be in two or three years. I think video is going to be the natural way that dating apps move. It’s much more authentic and real to be able to see someone on video.
SK: Where do you see social video?
I think video is the future. I think video will eventually evolve into AR and VR as well. But video is the first step in making people comfortable. You need the technology before you can massively apply it. And this is where TikTok created this mass adoption of videos.
SK: You mentioned that what people seem to like about TikTok is the authenticity of it. Do you think that dating apps are also used there?
KK: Hopefully. When you look at what Gen Z is compared to previous generations, I put Instagram with the “Kim Kardashian Selfie era. “While TikTok is the rawer, more authentic and real“ Come as you are ”. And you can see that in the content that gets published: It’s a lot rougher, it’s a lot more authentic. And that’s very good for dating.
SK: So I downloaded the app on my phone and a couple of things that caught my eye that I thought were really cool were the gender options. There was way more than I see on other dating apps. But I would love if you show me or tell me how I am here about your favorite features.
KK: What makes us special is the ability to send messages straight from content to people you already match up with in the app, as this will give you the starting point for the conversation.
SK: Absolutely. Geez, the worst opener in dating apps is when they say, “Hey.”
KK: You will see that a lot of the first few messages are actually being sent from the feed. And it references the video that they are messaging you from. It’s special, you took the time to actually watch my video, you are engaging with my content, and the content gives you a chance to say something unique – me rather than “Sup” or “Hey”.
For me that is the brilliance of what this function is and what we are building. We’re making it easier for you to start this conversation, flirt and make it more fun. And it shouldn’t be that hard – dating in general is hard. How do you make these different functions and things more fun?
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
Photo courtesy Kim Kaplan
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