Glimpse: an experiment in stumbling upon someone you might like

True Story

My friend Oscar wrote a post last week about a dating app called Glimpse that came out earlier this year. I was, of course, intrigued but sure I wouldn't participate. Yes, it's a great idea, but I like my instagram account lurker-free. Plus, I already have an 'instacrush'. And, the whole idea of a crush is that nothing ever happens. It's just forever in existence. No harm, no foul. No possibility of heartbreak.

People already meet on instagram. People meet everywhere. I don't like the idea of building up some idea of someone via words or photos through any kind of online dating.

Anyway, I tweeted something along these lines to Oscar and Glimpse, and Elan, Glimpse creator, tweeted back. I shared my concerns, and he convinced me to try it anyway.

To show you just how easy (or hard, depending on if you over-think things like me or not) it is, co-founder Elan and I shared our nine photos--and our first impressions--from our Glimpse profiles.

Elan's Profile, My comments:


Profile pic

What are you looking at? Nice that I can actually see your face. Wonder if this is your standard pensive face, a soon-to-be smile or an angry look.

Photo #1

Nice colors. Likes to have fun. Or be around people that look like they might be having fun. Or has a thing for balloons. Maybe those aren’t balloons. Maybe I have a thing for balloons.

Photo #2

May be more tolerant to cold weather than I am because this is the kind of weather that prevents me from taking photos because my hands get too cold. Or, you have gloves that let you use your touchphone.

Photo #3

I googled this. It’s $12.30 on amazon. I should just buy this for you so you no longer want it. I’m just confused by this photo.

Photo #4

Are you screenprinting t-shirts? Is this a card? Are you going to a birthday party? I don’t think I’ve ever dated someone that has said ‘word’. I guess there’s a first for everything.

Photo #5

You have friends! Your friends are also active on social networks! You have a nice smile! You had ‘not a bad’ night!

Photo #6

I wish the crawfish was in focus. Instagram threw you a birthday party ;).

Photo #7

Love this photo. Wonder if you emailed it to yourself or just saved it on your phone to someday repost. Also wonder who took the photo.

Photo #8

How often do you go to Burning Man? This is an important question.

Photo #9

I don’t know what this is but I want to play.

The takeaway: You may like seafood, may or may not be a night owl, probably enjoy being around people and generally having fun and are interested in tech with a creative bent.

Photos tell me enough about your personality to know that I would at least have something to chat about. Though, I have no idea if you are employed, if you know what you want in life, if you are or aren't interested in a long term relationship, though you seem totally willing to try new things. Unfortunately, you live in New York and unless you messages me I probably will never meet you.

My Profile, Elan's comments:

Stephanie-profile+train Stephanie-Kino+Ghosts Stephanie-Pool+Bolinas Stephanie-train+AZ Stephanie-Rio+Berlin

Profile pic

Girl’s got style

Photo 1

You commute to work? Ha, not sure what to make of this one.

Photo 2

I had to Google this place. Does this mean you speak german? Berlin related maybe?

Photo 3

Awesome shot.

Photo 4

You’re into the outdoors. Nice aesthetic.

Photo 5

Beach kinda gal.

Photo 6

You’re into going place. Now 2 transportation pics!

Photo 7

Road trips. Awesome.

Photo 8

An adventure in Rio. I’ve always wanted to visit.

Photo 9

Where is this?

The takeaway: You’re into going places, transportation geek, a cool photographer, nice aesthetic.

Your photos are intriguing and I'd want to chat, and that's the ultimate goal: To get the conversation started. At the same time, I don't think they tell a full story (not that you really can with just nine photos...the purpose of glimpse is well...just a first impression). If I were you, I'd replace of a couple of the "cool shots" with photos that highlight interesting experiences to shed more insight into who you are.

How to use Glimpse

This was a super fun experiment to see just how to use Glimpse. Both Elan and I had no prior knowledge of each other, so it's a good example of how your photos can tease and ensure you'll get some matches, and hopefully messages.

It's very easy to sign up. Just download the app on itunes, put in the invite code (you have to sign up and wait for an invite code, unless you're reading this in which case here's your invite code: "instacrush"!) and upload a profile photo and nine instagram photos that you think tell the story of who you are. The whole point is to make it simple--no more words, just pictures. Note: your captions from your instagram photos do show up, so choose wisely.

This was super hard for me. Should I evoke wanderlust or put-together-ness? Do I show my soul side or my minimal techno side? More of the art fart or the academic? I had all the same problems I normally have when trying to boil myself down to one profile. I just couldn't do it, until I did and then just left it alone. Then came the fun part.

You swipe through profiles just like in Tinder, but you get to see nine photos from the other person's instagram. If you think Tinder is addicting, Glimpse is like Tinder on crack. It's awesome. And, maybe because it's still new or maybe because they are being selective with invites, more than half of the people are attractive, take excellent photos, and seem to be interesting in one way or another. This is much, much different from the Tinder demographic, in which most people are scary, lame, or obnoxious, with the rare attractive+sane person being clingy, rude or not interested in actually dating.

I have no idea what these Glimpse (male) users are looking for, but the way they 'look at the world' is inspiring. So, there's that.

Pro tip / What I learned

Pick photos that tell the story of who you are. Ask your friends for help (I didn't). Then message people because the whole point is to spark conversation.

What about you?

What do you think of Glimpse? Would you try it? Do you also have difficulty describing yourself in pictures or words?