HOUSTON – In the digital era, we live in, it’s not uncommon for people to turn to online dating apps. Of course, not everyone has the best luck finding love, but that’s why we have wingmen/women.
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“It was an idea I came up with, after just seeing a lot of his struggles from the dating app perspective,” Cooper explained. “And seeing that it’s just become gamified, almost so to speak, where you’re just constantly going through and trying to swipe or just find matches.”
“The biggest thing for us…as far as what apps were doing, in terms of mindless swiping through of profiles, and just kind of just using it to kill time versus actually trying to invest in someone that you’re meeting, regardless of what your relationship status or what you’re looking for specifically, but just the idea that it’s no longer about actually meeting someone,” Edwards added. “But let’s see how many profiles I can go through and see if I get a bite on something.”
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In their attempt to stand out from other dating apps, the creators looked to include friends/family to assist in finding a more prominent relationship. Similar to the wingman/wingwoman approach, where an individual may introduce potential partners to one another, help break the ice, or even just be there for moral support.
“It felt like we were really losing touch with a lot of the basis, which comes naturally in the dating world, which is having some type of trust, having some type of group or acknowledgment that can come into play to say, ‘Hey, you know, as your friend, we kind of may know what you like, but we also may have a different perspective of what may be best for you as well,'” Cooper said. “And I didn’t see that there was anything like that available out in the dating market.”
While that idea may seem intrusive to some, the reality is, according to surveys and research Cooper and Edwards found, app users often already relied on their friends or family to help them with even setting up their initial dating profiles or selecting a potential partner.
“People often handed their phones away to their friends, whether it be their friends, their brother, their sister, even their mom or dad, sometimes whoever their trusted advisors are, and they will say, ‘What do I put in it? What do I put into that book profile that no one reads? What do I say back to this person like I’ve got to match? Now, I don’t know what to do,’ because a lot of people spend that time just swiping away, or creating matches,” Cooper explained. “And when they have something, they don’t know how to really fully invest in it, or if it’s something that they should be investing in to start because not every match is a good match either.”
“So we wanted to take that process and build it into an intuitive way into the app to where people can now join, and we created a portal for them to be able to download the app and only to send profiles to their friends or create group chats, all the things that we’re doing already, we made it seamless into one environment,” he continued. “And now you don’t have to worry about ‘Well, I gotta sit back and wait and figure out what to say’, or I got to wait until I see Howard on Saturday, or, you know, for him to, you know, give me a matchmaking process… It’s a fun way to and when you have people that are invested in helping you do something successful, it makes the process feel more natural, and it eliminates that awkward piece of it too.”
The app made its debut launch in January 2022, and despite Wingr’s short existence, it has taken off in more than one way (no pun intended.)
“Right now our daily active users, just from a percentage perspective, we have over 10,000 users that we crossed already,” Cooper explained. “The 80 percentile range of that actually is coming in last six months, when we started ramping up our efforts.”
“So it’s growing and expanding basis in terms of downloads, exciting to see, and our active user count is very impressive too,” he continued. “It hovers around 17 to 18% of the users that registered per day or on a monthly basis, so from an industry standard, we’re almost right there at that 20 percentile where we want, and the numbers keep growing.”
In addition to the positive feedback left in reviews, some users have even approached the creators to personally tell them how much they loved the app. As Edwards told the story, it all started after he and Cooper did some marketing photos and went out for drinks afterward.
“We had our shirts on still, this guy comes up to us, he’s like, ‘Yo, I love this app,’ I was like, ‘Oh, yeah?’ this is probably four months into launching, right? So our numbers, that six-month mark is really when we started putting more money into advertising and really ramping up that stuff, talking to a few influencers and things, and trying to really get things going,” he said. “Pulls out his phone, and sure enough on his phone had the app downloaded. And he was telling us he literally had just set up a date that day. It was exciting because we were going out the next day, and so we haven’t run into him since then. But I was just like, you know, that’s a great feeling.”
Even with the success, the creators explained how the overall goal behind Wingr, which was to bring communication and fun, and excitement back to dating, has not been lost on them.
“I’m single now, and I can’t tell you how many profiles I’ve seen for years, starting with the lingo of people literally putting in their bio, ‘No one even reads this, I’m not going to fill this out,’ like things like that,” Edwards said. “When you’re on an app that’s designed for you to meet somebody, and literally your place in your bio, where it’s supposed to be talking about who you are your interests, and things like that when the sentiment is, ‘I’m not going to fill this out because no one’s reading this,’ that tells you a lot and speaks a lot of the mindset of people that are on the app.”
Currently, Wingr is only available for Apple users, but Cooper said the will “soon” be available for Android users and are already in the testing phase.
“For the Android users out there do know that I am personally going in and getting involved to get it pushed out there,” he said. “Q1 is what we’re aiming for it at the latest: Q1.”
While dating in general can be a scary experience, Edwards and Cooper stressed the importance of vulnerability meshed with confidence that seems to be missing in connecting with another person.
“I feel like dating has become so pressurized, so mechanical, versus like realizing that you’re trying to have fun with this, right?” he said. “If you’re trying like, that part should be the fun part; trying to get to know someone, seeing whatever comes from…don’t put so much pressure on all this person. Like we all got to say the perfect thing and all that like, just the energy that you’re putting out there. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, and whoever, whatever you’re in your end goal is like, if it’s meant for you, it’ll happen.”
“Your own uniqueness is what’s going to drive you towards your own happiness, whatever the pursuit of happiness may be,” Cooper added. “So you have to be willing to be yourself and be inviting to what comes as well. Because just like how I thought I knew what was going on. It took somebody to be a winger for me actually, to meet the person I’m with now. So I understand that being yourself is key. And then allow the people, the situations around you, as long as they’re there good intentions, to just roll with it.”