How to use Character to meet new people based on thought-provoking questions
We’re still in beta, so if something is confusing or seems to be stuck, this might help.
In the summer of 2021, we ran a little experiment: we hosted a small Berlin-based platonic matchmaking service at friendshipproject.de. We didn’t have a name, just a landing page, some typeforms, and a crude algorithm that connected people via email.
We quickly hit the maximum capacity of our scrappy MVP when 2.000 people signed up in 6 weeks. The next step was clear: build a real app.
Scared by the complexity of other apps that use questionnaires, it took lots of brainstorming to arrive at the simplest possible app: a swiping screen that features questions about yourself AND profiles of potential matches.
So, here is how it works:
To match people, swipe a few questions until a profile appears. Swipe this profile to the right and if they like you back, it’s a match! You can chat and meet. Our dynamic profiles only show you the things you have in common. This is crucial because we often aren’t our authentic selves because of a fear of judgment. By only showing commonalities, there is no fear of judgment, because we negatively only judge things different to us. Left-wing people judge capitalists, sober people judge alcohol consumption, and meat-eaters judge vegetarians. But when we discover similarities we feel connected and create a bond, hence our focus on said bond.
And yes, this is from our viral TikTok page, which you can find here.
Roughly every 12–60 cards a new profile appears if we do find a good match for you. Personality scores are used in the background, other things like values, humor, education, hobbies, and more are displayed dynamically on the profile card. Our dynamic profiles only show you what you have in common with that person — making it more relevant but also protecting your privacy.
Reached the end?
We currently have 400+ questions online. But because they are conditional, you will never see all of them. Depending on your answers you will reach the end of the card stack after ca. 200–250 questions. The last card looks like the image.
You can just swipe this card into any direction and it will check if there are new cards for you:
We add new cards every week
Profiles that are a good match show up here, so check back frequently to see if profiles show up if you swipe this card
If you add friends/people you know to your account, you get cards about them (and they get some about you). See below for more details on adding people you know.
The other major feature is adding people you know. If you do so, then you get cards about them and they get cards about you shown in the card stack. As you give each other feedback, two things happen:
Once three friends gave feedback you can see the anonymized results and find out about things that nobody mentioned so far.
The answers help us paint a clearer picture of you. There are a lot of questions, such as ‘Are you punctual?’ or ‘Are you a good car driver?’ in which we hopelessly overestimate ourselves. Adding other people’s opinions helps us give you better matches. Your friend’s opinions about you won’t ever be shown to anyone but you.
Make sure people whom you invite are actually showing up on your friend’s list. If someone you try to add does not have the app yet, they will receive an email asking them to download it. Once they have an account, you will have to add their email again (we’re working to make this smoother!). They then show up in the list of people you know.
The introspection features are not fully online yet, but if you click on your profile, you can already see your personality scores in the different categories.
Revolutionizing social media is hard. We’d love to hear your thoughts. We have an open Discord channel we can invite you to and are always eager to hear about your experience with friendships in general and the Character app specifically. Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with an answer to any of these questions to become a part of the revolution and help us end loneliness. If you want to help but are unsure why, just email us the answer to one or more of these questions:
What specific questions reveal most about people?
What do all the people you like have in common?
Where were you when you answered the questions?
How many dating apps did you use before? Did you try to find friends there?
Why are we getting lonelier and lonelier as a society? (Number of Americans who say they don’t have any close friends went from 3% in 1990 to 15% in 2020 😵)
New to Character? Take a break from reading and check it out at www.character-app.com