What is ‘The Inner Circle’ and should you add it to your assortment of dating apps?
In today’s marketplace you would think another dating app would be overkill. How many ways can there be to meet the same people in the world? From Match.com to niche apps like Hater, which matches users by the things the hate, the dating app market share is limited. There just aren’t enough people on every app to satisfy the needs of single men and women.
‘The Inner Circle’ a London-based app self-described as “selective dating” is part dating app and part social network. The biggest difference you’ll find with ‘The Inner Circle’ is their offline events. Their tag line includes: Meet the most attractive and inspiring singles through our exclusive online dating website, app and at our events.
Exclusive and elite dating apps are nothing new, and they’re not for everyone but there are many things the ‘Inner Circle’ gets right.
YOU CAN SWIPE OR NOT SWIPE
Unlike Hinge’s failed attempt to launch a war on swiping, you can choose to view your potential matches in a grid view, similar to the dating app Happn, or in a swipe view, one at a time. This makes the app really easy to navigate. Also, smaller photos lend to a better UI and make almost anyone look flattering. The general aesthetic of the grid view is pleasing but if you really want a better view, you can alternate to the larger photo size.
YOU GET HELP WITH YOUR PROFILE
Without even writing a word, The Inner Circle guides you through a process of describing yourself by criteria they believe other users will care about. Users are asked a series of questions so you know their height, weight, if they smoke or have kids without users having to disclose this manually in their profile. That kind of transparency makes the app seem trustworthy. There are no “empty” profiles that you have to question if it’s a bot, or a married person.
YOU GET RESTAURANT AND EVENT SUGGESTIONS
The Inner Circle also helps you plan your evening. They offer date suggestions from hip coffee shops to trendy restaurants and concerts. Whether you’re in a new city, or partying locally, the Inner Circle provides information about social activities that might be interesting to members. You can even plan to meet someone abroad because the app will let users know when you will be in their city. They curate your night so that if you haven’t met someone on the app, you can meet someone in real life. This is a total shift in traditional dating apps, and dating website culture who statistically never connect their users offline.
WHY I LIKE THE INNER CIRCLE
The Inner Circle refers to users as ‘members’.
From the moment you’re accepted onto the app, it does feel like a community. There are past event photos, and it’s easy to connect with other users. Without having paid a dime, you’re still given access to several basic features which gives you immediate value.
The Inner Circle plans events.
Many dating apps have tried to facilitate offline meetings but they usually attract the most desperate of members. The Inner Circle event that I attended in San Francisco was exactly what the app had promised; attractive and interesting people.
The Inner Circle identifies who invited who to the platform.
This is major. Considering how many people use dating apps in private and almost feel embarrassed in doing so, the Inner Circle actually manages to make online dating seem cool. I’ve invited friends to become members which is the first time I’ve ever done so. This is also a great way to skip the line and avoid the waitlist. The app does a great job of making you feel like you’ve entered an exclusive club and not just another dating site.
IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE
Technically, this isn’t a con but it’s worth mentioning. There are single adults who feel that they have a lot to offer and don’t want to rifle through anyone less than a 7. That might sound harsh but it’s true. It has to be mentioned that judgement plays a huge part in the success of a dating app and it’s my expert opinion that the better looking the prospects the less harsh the judgment. If you can make it into ‘The Inner Circle’ wonderful but everyone won’t.
THERE ARE LIMITED USERS
Being a new app, with a global start, ‘The Inner Circle’ needs more users. Although they’ve boosted to have had 1 million matches the app isn’t available in every city. In a few days, you can easily exhaust your options and become bored with checking the app everyday. Even in a large city like San Francisco there seems to be a limited pool of singles.
THERE ARE NO GATES
While it’s possible to block and report users there are no gates when it comes to receiving messages. This is more a problem for women than men but the most you can do is ignore a message if you’re not interested. This is a bit of an issue but because the app screens it’s members first, you hope that most people will be well-behaved.
The Inner Circle has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to design and functionality but my experience with the app so far has been great. It’s by far my favorite dating app on the market, and if you happen to travel or enjoy nightlife, then this is the best app for you. This is niche dating done right. Try the Inner Circle
Pros: Design, Usability, Events,
Cons: Limited blocking features, Not enough users