Fever wants you to focus on the one that you want. Really focus.
The new iOS dating app from local dev shop Tendigi is all about tracking how hot you are for any given paramour. On Tinder, many users quickly express interest in everyone to better their odds of hooking up.
That won’t fly on Fever, though, where a user has to keep touching the person’s image to learn more about them. Well, to see more about them.
Fever is wholly oriented around your Facebook photos. Users are rewarded for their prolonged touching with more photos. The idea is that the longer you hold onto someone, the more you dig them. Fever shows you how much your heat has turned up for that person with a little temperature gauge, but it won’t show you how hot they think you are.
This reflects an underlying goal of the app.
“One of our biggest goals is to better understand the relationship between popularity and engagement,” said Jeff Soto, Tendigi’s founder. “We hope to use this data to create more meaningful connections between users.”
The company is seriously pushing the app now, though we first spotted it last November. It’s been in a soft launch so far while the team gets feedback from users.
This reporter is not an iOS user, so we asked our lead reporter in Philadelphia, Juliana Reyes, to give the new app a spin this weekend. There were not a lot of potential connections available in the City of Brotherly Love to search, but she found a few. We were really pulling for “Cole,” but we never heard back. He just looked so soulful.
— Juliana Reyes (@juliana_f_reyes) February 21, 2015
The app authenticates users via Facebook accounts but, apparently, you can’t choose which Facebook photos Fever will feature. Tinder only uses Facebook photos, too, but users can pick which ones. Our reporter didn’t know what photos potential matches were seeing.
“I’ve never been iced on a dating app,” she said, after waiting all weekend to see if any replies came back. She was able to message fellow users after holding down on a photo for five seconds or so. In other words, matches don’t have to be mutual. That said, if you don’t hold the person’s attention, it can also shut you out.
Eventually, Reyes did make a connection, but it was a user in Brooklyn who appears to be on the app’s team.
The need to keep the heat on may relate to the app’s monetization model. For $0.99, or for sharing the app, users can access “Warp Speed” for 24 hours. This allows you to turn the heat up faster, which seems to be a way to move ahead in line with the wicked hotties. Remember how that OkCupid founder told us there are always users who get way too much attention?
"One of our biggest goals is to better understand the relationship between popularity and engagement."
It’s also unusual for a dating app to come out with a revenue generator out of the box. Warp Speed, though, fit within the way the app works for its users, according to the Tendigi team.
“We looked at the initial ways we could engage with people that stayed true to the core functionality of Fever,” Paul Rollinger, a producer at Tendigi, told us via email. “We’re also working on celebrity endorsements and other business partnerships outside of in-app purchases.”
Dating is a tough space. Another Brooklyn founder wrote that it’s all about getting VC money and paying for eyeballs via marketing. That said, since Tendigi is a dev shop, the team may simply be using this app to prove some other concept for clients, or to serve as a type of calling card.
Or, since this is a competitive system, Tendigi may be trying to create an app where non mega-hotties need not apply. That’d be a way to stand out. The more popular you are with users, the longer they have to hold onto your profile to reach you, according to a press release from the company. It’s not clear whether people of relatively high hotness could reach each other faster.
We’ll wait and see what strategy seems to shake out. If Brooklynites try Fever and find that press-and-hold leads to more IRL touching, let us know. And we will definitely cover the first Brooklyn Fever wedding (or any first Fever date, if you want us there to make it weird). Android users hold on, the site’s FAQ says an Google version is coming, but Rollinger said Tendigi is waiting to see the reaction in iOS before they build it.
This is the second app Tendigi has posted in the app store. Previously, they built Dumbo, an app about the neighborhood, which just had an update to its database Sunday.