OKZoomer – a reference to the video-conferencing app it uses as a platform and the generation it’s targeted at – was created to connect college students from more than 200 schools across the US for virtual Zoom dates. According to Yale University students and app creators Ileana Valdez and Patrycja Gorska, OKZoomer originated as a tongue-in-cheek concept on a meme page, while university officials were deciding whether to cancel classes.
The platform also strays from the location-based restrictions familiar to dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble, allowing users to connect solely based on meeting the criteria of being a college student in the US. Re-inventing a platform that was already being used for virtual learning, Generation Z have been able to form their own Anti-social Networks. Valdez says: ‘A lot of kids are losing the biggest social experiences of their lives, especially seniors, who are losing the rest of their semesters.’ Particularly during a time when many students are facing periods of isolation and loneliness, OKZoomer has the potential to provide both romantic and platonic connections.
S’more, an abbreviation of ‘something more’, is a highly curated dating app offering users a maximum of five profiles each day to engage with. Unlike many other dating apps, which are often fuelled by filtered selfies, the platform instead consists of icons representing a user’s interests. For example, if a user indicates that he or she is looking for romance and enjoys being outdoors, small icons will appear to represent these traits. As other users interact with these icons – what the app refers to as ‘winks’ – profiles gradually become unblurred and unlocked, revealing a profile photo and the person’s social media feeds.
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