MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Students from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) are changing the game when it comes to online dating.
The days of endlessly swiping left and right hoping to land a date may be behind us, or at least for those looking for an alternative, thanks to some forward-thinking students from UTRGV.
Dating apps have been mostly the same in function since their rise in popularity. On most apps, users swipe pictures of other users to the right or left depending on whether they want to start talking to them or not. For some, much of the swiping leads to nowhere and can be rather frustrating.
That is why Julian Vazquez-Jimenez and Carlos Zarate decided to rethink how people date in 2021.
Vazquez-Jimenez began working on an in-person speed dating app called Meet Texas last year in October, after feeling like the traditional apps we not working for him.
“There is something missing [in traditional dating apps],” said Vazquez-Jimenez. “There’s a lot of things that could go wrong like catfishing or ghosting or people just not being honest. You can get a lot from someone’s body language.”
The goal behind Meet Texas is to get users to meet in person for an hour of speed dating that is guided by the app. The app will tell users where to go, who to meet, and how long to stay. Users will then tell the app how much they liked their dates by ranking them. The rankings are private, but the average ranking between the two people will determine if they move on to another, longer date.
While much of the app is still in development, the overall function of the app is ready to go. Vazquez-Jimenez has been promoting the app around McAllen ahead of their launch that will take place at The Yard late this month.
Over time Vazquez-Jimenez said the app will add options to include the LGBTQ community and will hold events in bigger cities. Updates to the app that are coming soon are an option to share your social media accounts with your date, opening the app to users over 26, and showing rosters of who will be at the events through the app.
Vazquez-Jimenez explained that an app like this requires more time to develop because one like it currently does not exist.
While Vazquez-Jimenez is preparing for the launch, he is also focusing on getting investors to help pay for improvements to the app like facial recognition and social media verification.
“It can take off anywhere, any place, it’s really an app with exponential opportunities for growth, in my opinion,” said Vazquez-Jimenez. “I feel passionate about it… It’s something that makes me happy and it’s great to see it come to life.”
You can download the app by searching “Meet Texas” wherever you get your apps or learn more about it through their website.