South African app Hatch looks to provide users with a dating and social experience that’s different from the traditional approach.
Rather than connecting people based on attraction or interests, the app focuses on activities, tours, local attractions, and events.
The app had a soft launch in 2021, first launching on iOS only.
Here’s what to know about the homegrown app and its plans for the future.
How the Hatch app was developed
So why did the company’s founders decide to create the app?
“The idea actually stemmed from consistent disappointment with the existing dating apps,” co-founder Greg Cooke told Memeburn.
“Our own experiences were validated through consumer research – it was clear that issues like misrepresentation, a lack of compatibility, and generally a lack of engagement on the platforms were prominent pain points we believe we can address.”
The app’s creators surveyed South African dating app users and found that most said that they met up with less than 10% of their matches. As a result, Hatch focuses on connecting people through experiences.
While the app was originally envisioned as a dating app, it has since moved away from this focus.
“[We] envision it to be a safe, community-first approach to creating meaningful connections, while at the same time giving small business owners within our serviced sectors the opportunity to tap into a new form of customer acquisition and engagement,” Cooke notes.
The app lets users connect to people through liked experiences and interests that they have in common.
“By centralising the ability to explore and book tours & activities, attractions, events, and dining experiences in a user friendly, engaging and exciting mobile platform, we make it easy for people to explore their curiosity through ‘things to do’ near them,” Cooke says.
You can connect with others in the app by showing your interest in a specific experience or location.
How to use Hatch (and where it’s available)
You can save both experiences and people on the app. Only you can see the people you have saved, but to take the next step you can send a hatch request to chat with and connect to these people.
To sign up, you will need to provide your phone number for a verification code. According to co-founder Werner Kotze, the app uses mobile authentication to limit the number of fake accounts.
You will then need to provide your name and email. However, you have the option regarding whether you want to opt into marketing communications.
You then need to enter your birthdate. Users of the app need to be over 18 years old. Finally, you need to upload three images of yourself.
You can choose whether to add more information about yourself to the app or get straight to exploring experiences.
When viewing experiences, you can click on the picture to see more information about it and choose whether you like it or want to look at other experiences.
You can also search experiences, and filter them according to tags.
Experiences are currently limited to Cape Town and areas in the Garden Route, such as Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
However, the company plans to expand to major cities across South Africa during 2022.