Desti, a new video-focused dating app, recently launched over the weekend, allowing users to identify potential mates based on a preferred date location. Users in the app’s debut market of Austin, Texas, can scroll through a vertical feed where profiles highlight what destinations (aka “destis”) they want to experience on a first date — whether that’s wakeboarding at Lake Travis, trying out a new sushi restaurant, or even going to a beer garden that allows dogs. The “destis” are found by swiping through in-house TikTok-style films of the Austin area.
Desti is also distinct from other dating apps such as Tinder or Bumble in that it lacks a “like” button, forcing users to initiate discussions. Users can send a message to the recipient, who can accept or reject the message. They can only see one at a time and must pass or respond to the message before on to the next.
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When creating a profile, the user must select three “destis” from categories such as Breweries, Rooftops, Live Music, Food Trucks, Dog Dates, and so on. Along with the film, there are hundreds of instructions to choose from, such as “Someone educates me…,” “The CDC recommends…,” or “Tonight we should… ” The user completes their profile by uploading four photographs and writing a bio.
Because so many millennials and Gen Z users use TikTok or Instagram to discover new eateries and activities in their region, Desti applies the same concept to its destination-based dating app.
“We chose to gamble on short-form video as the future,” Desti’s COO and main designer/developer Nick Dominguez told TechCrunch.
The company isn’t the only one focusing on TikTok-style videos in its dating service. Snack, for example, lets users upload videos to a stream and swipe through videos from potential mates. Feels, a French app, had a similar premise.