Do you hate the zoo? Mixologists? Donald Trump?
Brendan Alper, a Concord Academy and Brown University grad, believes
that what you hate can bring you love. He’s behind the new dating app, Hater, which aims to match people who hate the same stuff.
Alper, 29, a Pawtucket, R.I. native, first thought up Hater as a joke. After working for Goldman Sachs for years, he quit to pursue a career in comedy, and one of his routines was about a dating app based on hate.
Later on, though, the concept began to sound like a real business. The election only fueled the idea; people were more concerned than ever about the deal-breakers of others.
“This could be more relevant than we ever thought it could be,” he said, of the dating climate, post-election.
Alper knew the dating market was saturated with apps, so he set a modest goal of drawing 2,000 users in New York City by Feb. 8, with an official launch timed for Valentine’s Day. But with some press and word of mouth, the app exploded. He’s had 200,000 sign-ups all over the world, he said, and he hit his numbers a week early.
“It blew up all over Latin America and Europe,” he said.
People who sign up for the app are presented with items, people, and concepts (like Trump, cargo shorts, and guacamole), and are given the option of swiping right (for like), left (dislike), up (love), or down (hate). They can do as much swiping as they’d like to narrow their dating field. Whenever they’re ready, they can begin swiping on people’s pictures, like Tinder.
“The main difference is that we’re showing you people who are compatible with your personality,” he said, referring to the other dating app.
Alper, who’s based in New York, was on a train Friday morning to bring his Hater philosophy to Boston. He was scheduled to appear at TechConnect 2017 at Boston University, on a panel about the analytics of online dating, with OkCupid cofounder Christian Rudder and moderator Stephanie Leishman, of Cambridge social media strategy company Apiarity.