After the popularity of shaadi.com, a new ‘halal dating’ app has surfaced for Western Muslims. The app cleverly titled ‘Minder’ is the Muslim counterpart of the popular dating app Tinder, The Daily Beast reported.
The app was launched on Valentine’s Day and has already received 2,000 requests for approval.
The app will be released to the public within two weeks and will be available on all platforms, starting with iOS. According to the app’s founder, Haroon Mokhtarzada, the app is appealing because of its accessibility and exclusivity.
“This new generation really appreciates the convenience of being able to meet people on their phones rather than having to go sit in front of a computer scrolling through public profiles,” he said. “It’s not like the old-school models where you have to do a search in parameters, then reach out and hope they respond and feel rejected when they don’t.”
Minder follows the same format of Tinder in which users can see the face and profile of another user and can choose to either swipe left if they’re uninterested or right if they are interested. If both people swipe right, a chat room opens up, allowing for conversation.
Minder is not the only Muslim-friendly dating app. Ishqr is also a Muslim dating site, the only restriction however, is that it does not allow users to see the faces of the profiles they are interested in before swiping on.
Its goal is to remove the superficial and connect people based on personality. Another app, Salaam Swipe, created by Canadian-Muslim Khalil Jessa, plans to launch this year. Jessa said the Muslim community is a huge untapped market, particularly in the mobile space.
“This is aimed for people that get the culture and are generally Western-raised with dual identities. We’re not looking to promote those that have too much of a foreign bent to them.”
“There’s something about the privacy and convenience of being able to look through profiles while you’re in line at the bank,” Jessa said. “The whole swiping technique also sort of creates the dopamine feeling that you can get when you meet someone on the street instead of seeing 100 profiles at once. In a way, that swipe can mimic real life when two people attract each other’s attention.”
Jessa and Mokhtarzada are self-funding their apps. They believe it’s worth it in order to tap into this niche market.
After all, Tinder was a startup in 2012 and is now estimated to be valued at $500 million.