News & Politics

There’s a New Dating App Available in DC That’s Trying to End “Swiping Fatigue”

S'More users list personal characteristics instead of pictures to facilitate matches.

All photographs courtesy of S'More.

If your 2020 resolution was to find romance but you’re currently wading through a series of booty calls and dick pics on Bumble or Tinder, your luck may be about to change. A new dating app called S’More just launched in DC, and it’s tailored specifically for people looking for serious relationships.

When you download S’More (which stands for “Something More”), you can’t see a match’s profile pictures or send them a message until you interact with them. So instead of swiping through a series of photos and basing your opinion on someone’s looks, you’ll “like” (or “wink,” in S’more parlance) the information on someone’s bio, which is represented by a series of icons denoting things like astrological signs or favorite hobbies. As you continue to “wink” at someone, their profile picture becomes less blurry. Eventually, you can send them a message and see what they look like.

The New York-headquartered app was founded at the end of 2019 by Adam Cohen-Aslatei, who is the former managing director of Bumble’s gay dating app Chappy. Cohen-Aslatei got the idea for S’More when he realized many of his friends were frustrated with the swiping culture of other apps, which seemed to prioritize looks and rarely resulted in actual relationships, he says.

Once users have “winked” at enough icons, they’ll get to see another user’s profile pictures.

“I wanted to create something that would satisfy my friends’ desire to meet people that really want to be in relationships,” says Cohen-Aslatei. “Everyone is there for similar purposes and it’s not a beauty contest. It’s about knowing the whole person.”

To encourage substantial conversations, S’More only lets you see five profiles a day, and you can only chat with 10 people at a time. If you want to accept a new message from a potential match, you have to visit their profile and “wink” at their listed traits. And if you’re already engaging in 10 chats but want to accept a new message, you have to choose one to end. “[It’s] forcing you into having these conversations and having to make the decision, ‘Do I want to date this person?,'” says Cohen-Aslatei.

Members of the S’More team at its New York headquarters.

To ensure that users aren’t abusing the app, S’More requires folks to verify their profiles with a selfie to combat catfishing and underage use. Additionally, once you’re in a conversation with someone, the app messages both users to see if the other is being polite. This is used to create an Uber-like rating score for each profile, and folks with higher scores will match other highly rated users.

Part of Cohen-Aslatei’s mission is to make the app as friendly to all users as possible: “A lot of times, [LGBTQ-identifying people] have been forced to be the ‘other’ group,” he says. That’s why the option “something more,” not “something other,” is available for prompts about sexuality or gender. “It doesn’t matter who you are,” says Cohen-Aslatei. “If your end goal is a relationship, you’ll find success on the app.”

The app is currently available to iOS users in DC, Boston, and New York, and it will expand to Chicago and Los Angeles before becoming available nation-wide in June, says Cohen-Aslatei. (An Android version is expected soon.) While the app is free, users can pay an additional fee to unlock extra chats and find out who’s winking at them.

To celebrate its launch in DC, S’More is partnering with Washington-area groups: Keep your eyes peeled for events at the Park at 14th nightclub and possibly a special s’more treat at District Doughnut locations.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.