What if there were an app that made it easy for people to meet through the thousand fleeting connections that we make every day? Wonder no more: it’s time to cross paths with happn.
Tokyo is, without exaggeration, the largest city in the world: more than 37 million people make their home in the greater metropolitan area. But the sheer size of the city can often make it difficult – at times, seemingly impossible – to meet people. You pass thousands of Tokyoites on your commute, or see hundreds of them walk by the window of your favorite lunch spot in the space of an hour, but what about those people who you’d like to see again? It could be a certain someone you’ve run into a couple of times as you got on the train, or that interesting individual who simply caught your eye.
You might have wanted to strike up a conversation … but maybe you were too shy, or you thought that your Japanese just wasn’t good enough for a self-introduction. Or, maybe you were just curious about some of the people whose paths you cross every day without knowing it. This is where the magic of “happn” takes place.
Once you install the app, you can log in through Facebook and create your profile. (Although you log in using Facebook Connect, happn does not notify your friends that you are using the app, and only provides information about common friends and interests.) You can connect your profile to your Instagram account, and add some information about your work history or educational background, and you’re off. As you go about your day, you can check in with the app and find out who you’ve passed by, and who’s passed by you, all in real time. The profiles of other happn users will show up on your feed; if you find one that appeals to you, it’s as simple as giving that profile a “Like.” One interesting twist is that a user will only see that “Like” if they have also “Liked” you as well. Another option to connect with a user is by sending a “Charm,” which can be purchased using packs of credits within happn. If you send one of these, a user will know that you are interested right away. Either way, if the mutual interest is there (and only if it is there), a conversation can begin.
Where that conversation goes is up to the two of you: it could be the start of a romance, but it could just as well be a friendship based just on the things that you have in common. This is one of the things that makes the app different from the host of other meetup applications on the market, because rather than just browsing through pages and pages of profiles and faces, you’re connecting through via the locations that are a part of your daily life. The sense of a “meat market” that can come up with other services simply isn’t there, and taking its place is a kind of whimsy and playfulness that is the hallmark of the app’s French origins. After all, the people of France are known for their sense of romance and their appreciation of the small quirks of fate that shape our lives. Serendipity is the main concept behind happn, and this sense of chance that goes into making human connections is its main appeal.
As important as our digital devices are to us, they have a tendency to detach us from our immediate surroundings. Happn, on the other hand, uses these online connections to bring us even closer to the world around us. Let a little serendipity into your life and check it out. After all, “it all starts in real life!”
Happn is available on iPhone, Android and Windows phone.