As a grown up, there’s no greater truth than meeting new people can be hard. It’s not that it’s impossible, but outside of school, the frequency with which you interact with new faces on a regular basis diminishes.
Which is one of the reasons online dating has really taken off–it helps connect strangers. But with so many well-established platforms, from the traditional (OkCupid, Match) to hobby sites (FarmersOnly), and orientation (Gindr, BiCupid) to religion (J-date) or even just types of relationships users are looking for (Ashley Madison), you have to ask: does the world really need another dating site?
The guys over at U.K.-based Tab certainly hope so, and have beta launched a new company geared at serendipitous meetings.
Tab isn’t an app or a website at all. In fact, it’s an extension for Chrome users, which runs in the background of the desktop browser at all times. Every time users open a new tab, they’re shown a potential match. If they like what they see, they click the heart button, and mutual “hearts” are connected, while if users don’t like someone, it’s business as usual. It matches people largely based on the profile users fill out when they’re signing up, though will also test connecting people based on the types of sites they visit (such as both parties visited music sites in the last week).
“Imagine you could bump into the love of your life on any corner of the Internet, just like in real life,” says Shib Hussain, who co-founded Tab alongside Adam Lowe and Dan Hall, and an ad agency strategist (he and his team are also behind AdlandChatupLines). “It was a light bulb moment. We were discussing how online dating is actually pretty time consuming, regardless of what platform.”
Even Tinder, he says, requires people to open the app and scroll through.
“You have to actively look for people, switching from ‘not looking’ to ‘I am looking.’ And this isn’t how it is in real life,” he says. “You just bump into people and it just happens.”
The beta test just launched in the U.K. and will go live in the U.S. a bit later this year, he says. The extension is targeted at people who are over 25, “trying to find that work-life balance.” And while mobile gets the majority of focus for new company launches these days, he says they decided to focus on desktop because that’s where people still spend the bulk of their day while at the office, though, he’s not ruling out a mobile version of Tab in the future.
“A lot of dating sites don’t look great. We want to change this,” he says. “Tab is designed to be simple, clean and give you information quickly. We appreciate users are going to be opening a lot of tabs during the day, so this is pivotal–it can’t be annoying or overly distracting.”