Now that we all know what an invitation for "Netflix and Chill" really means (hint: it's more about what you'll do after the movie's over), wouldn't it be nice if we could request the activity without the pretenses? Well, the new app TikiTalk lets you do just that: Users can click a button that'll send a message reading "Netflix and chill?" to another user, and if they accept, it opens up a chat line.
Obviously, you don't have to plan a Netflix-and-chill date. People can add all sorts of activities to their profiles, like going to concerts and eating at food trucks, that can also become the basis for invitations. Or, you can just have a prolonged conversation — but isn't that what's frustrating about a lot of other dating apps in the first place? Putting "Netflix and chill" or another activity right upfront so nobody has to come out and make that first move seems useful. It's easier to get excited about someone when it seems like there's a good chance right off the bat that "chilling" of some sort will happen.
But what exactly is the app for, then? "Netflix and chill" screams out "sex!" But a TikiTalk press release suggests that users "keep it simple by asking someone out to some Froyo." Is this a hookup app or a dating app? "It can be whatever you want, to be honest," TikiTalk founder Daniel Ahn told Bustle in an email. "Whatever to spark a smile or laughter to start a conversation."
You Can Add Activities To Your Profile
The "explore" button lets you browse activities in different categories like adventure, nightlife, and arts to add to your profile. Amusingly, "Netflix and chill" is under "nightlife."
What Your Profile Looks Like
The concept reminds me of the dating site How About We: the activities you're interested in are displayed on your profile, and others can elect to do them with you through a simple click. For example, here's what mine looks like (please excuse the minimal effort in the bio). I didn't actually check off "Netflix and chill" because that doesn't seem like a first-date activity to me, even if you're just looking for something casual, for safety's sake if nothing else.
If someone wanted to, say, go rock climbing with me, I'd get a message saying "Go rock climbing?" with the option to chat with that person. Ahn explained the philosophy behind this means of introduction: "I felt like conversations were lacking substance nowadays. It's always a bit awkward and starts the same with 'Hey... watsup. How's your day going. You're cute... etc.' This helps nobody. With TikiTalk, let's face it. It's funny and it allows people to initiate a convo with a common interest. Both parties share something in common and that's pretty cool." Right after he and co-founder Stan Larroque came up with this idea, Ahn said, "The universe kinda just came together and brought 'Netflix and Chill' into our lives."
TikiTalk also has a "board" to post updates like you would on Facebook (or using Tinder "moments"), and others can follow you, though Ahn was careful not to show how many followers people have on their profiles: "This makes it equal playing ground for everyone and also discreet. I feel like with Instagram and other apps, it just becomes a popularity contest. How many followers do you have, how many likes can you get. And that's wack."
My Final Thoughts:
One thing that gives me pause about the app is the minimalistic profiles, but that's how I feel about almost every dating app because I'm spoiled: OkCupid, which shows you a match percentage, a long profile, and each person's answers to a number of personal questions, was the first dating app I ever used.
Real life is more like TikiTalk and other apps with short profiles, though: You don't know everyone's moral and political views right off the bat, and people get into relationships that way all the time, often based on something they both like to do. Since the app just launched last week, there aren't too many people in my area to connect with, but I'm exciting to see if anyone invites me to "go to the museum" or "watch a live concert" — and relieved that we won't have to engage in several days of small talk beforehand.
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Images: courtesy of TikiTalk