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Dating over the internet is nothing new. In fact, it’s practice is older than what most people may think. Internet dating has just become easier as technology has grown through services like and OkCupid among others. Now, there are apps for that. However, lately there has been a rise in apps designed to focus on “hooking up” rather than building relationships. A couple in Everett, Washington set out to change that when they launched their app, Talk Or Not, last October. Britney Bachmann, 26, and Garrett Shawstad, 30, created the social messaging app with a specific goal in mind: Don’t be like Tinder!

“We wanted to do the opposite of that, where it’s about conversation and the interactions before you base everything on a photo, It takes away the prejudgments,” Shawstad said in an interview with the Everett Herald.

User profile photos are hidden from other users of the app until a connection is made. Through messaging, a user can decide on whether to talk (or not) to another user, and with continued conversation, profile photos are slowly revealed to each user piece by piece. A total of nine squares have to be unlocked to reveal the full photo. Puzzle game enthusiasts will appreciate that design. 

Talk Or Not App on iOS

It’s an odd thing to put yourself out there for the world to see. Anyone who has a couple of minutes and the ability to search can come across you and your information, but with Talk or Not everything is private and no one knows who the other is.

Garrett Shawstad CEO of Talk Or Not

Technology, like many dating pools, can be hard to navigate. Talk Or Not is built with a simple easy to use interface that uses the GPS of the iPhone (the app is only available on iOS currently), to seek out users based on age, gender, and proximity. Sounds a lot like Tinder on the surface, but the difference is the privacy that it allows its users to maintain unless they see that spark of interest through conversation. Make them work for it! Thats what I say, and this app does just that. Even in a bar scene, where everything is based on looks, they at least should buy you a drink first!

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