Click Founder Asher Lee-Tyson [Image: Courtesy Click]
Social distancing mandates are continuing to shift many peoples’ daily routines and work life. Among these changes is dating, with singles across the country turning to dating apps in record numbers.
Since March 2020, dating apps Bumble and Tinder have enjoyed statistical increases in online traffic. The number of messages sent on Bumble has increased by over 25 percent; Tinder reported that the length of messages went up by nearly a third.
While mobile apps are revolutionizing the present-day dating game, users who do not gather a certain volume of matches might feel like it’s “game over,” losing the chance to meet potential love interests.
That’s where Click comes in.
A year after his move from his alma mater of Princeton to the city of Dallas, Asher Lee-Tyson describes how he came up with the idea for Click.
“After a couple of weeks without luck on dating apps, I decided to hire a professional photographer to take new photos of me and was really struck at the difference it made in terms of my outcomes on the apps,” Lee-Tyson says. “I convinced a couple of friends to do the same, and sure enough, their profiles exploded with matches as well.”
The photographer Lee-Tyson initially worked with would go on to become the first member of the Click team. They decided to build a company around the idea that the process to get better photos taken for your dating app profile ought to be simple and painless. This ease would even inspire the name behind his startup.
“The double meaning of ‘Click’ refers to our goal of helping our clients to find someone that they ‘click’ with via a dating app, and the sound that a camera makes when snapping a photo,” Lee-Tyson says.
Clients are paired with photographers based on location and availability with prices ranging from $200 to $500 depending on the length of the photo session. Lee-Tyson believes this monetary bill is a small price to pay if it means finding your dream relationship.
After all, when it comes to dating apps, it doesn’t matter how gorgeous or delightful you are in real life if those aspects aren’t immediately conveyed through your photos, according to Lee-Tyson. This appearance-centered conclusion might sound harsh at first but it’s nothing new.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge that there’s not just an element of superficiality to dating apps, but to dating in general,” Lee-Tyson says. “That’s always going to be part of the equation, whether you’re deciding to walk up to someone in a bar in person, or whether to swipe right or left on them in a dating app.”
Although some may think there’s a shallow culture in online dating, Lee-Tyson praises the honesty and adeptness of harnessing technology for countless peoples’ love lives. The process of courtship has adapted beyond what it used to be, especially on the heels of COVID-19.
“Since 1995, the percentage of couples that met via online dating has risen from two percent to 39 percent, with that number more than doubling in the past 10 years—online dating is now by far the most common way that couples meet,” Lee-Tyson says. “Dating apps are not necessarily disfiguring the process of dating into something that’s somehow more superficial or shallow, but rather they’re accurately reflecting a process that’s already occurring in real life and are just leaning on technology to make that process more efficient.”
At the core of Click, Lee-Tyson attests to his startup’s belief in helping others on their journeys to seek love.
“Finding a partner is such a core human need,” Lee-Tyson says. “I’d love to build a platform that enables every online dater in the world to easily connect with a good photographer to get better photos taken for their profile. Dating apps don’t have to suck.”
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