Happn is an online dating platform, released in February 2014. It heavily focuses on proximity, mostly showing members and potential matches from the list of people that you've already encountered in real life. Although other apps like Tinder also allow you to search for matches from miles away, Happn can also expand the search area up to 250-mile radius. This is mainly done if you are living in a low-population place, in which case the proximity doesn't do too much for you if there is nobody using the app at all.
The registration process is very easy, if not the easiest out of all similar apps, and it literally takes a couple of minutes before you are ready to get in. You don't need to input any information what so ever, if you don't want to, however, you must have an active Facebook account in order to register on Happn. The app itself will extract all the needed information from your Facebook profile, and import it to your new profile. Unfortunately, if you don't have a Facebook account, there is no other way to register, and this may turn off some users who are not willing to expose their Facebook accounts. After you are done with the registration, the app will immediately tell you to turn on location service on your device, as it is one of the requirements for the app's proper function.
When it comes to profile information, the app itself doesn't do too much justice. Aside from basic information such as name, age, gender, and location, which are automatically extracted from your Facebook profile, you only have education, occupation, and biography fields which you can fill in to tell the folks more about yourself. But you can always update your fields if there is anything new and relevant which you want to show. Aside from that, in order to change any of the basic information, you first have to change it on your Facebook account, and then import the updates to Happn profile as well. Also, you can upload up to a maximum of 9 pictures, but as of lately, you can link your Instagram account as well, and import pictures from that site. And though the information is quite lackluster, keep in mind that all your information is public, and it is visible to every member. So, this might not be quite good for those who still like to keep their life's privacy on a high level, but none the less, you can just choose not to write anything about yourself if you feel like that's the way to go!
There is a big downside to Happn's concept of matchmaking. Due to proximity idea, the app doesn't have a search option at all. You are only presented with the potential matches who you already encountered in real life or those who could be a good fit for you according to the app's algorithm. Basically, you will be getting matches until the app has nobody else to present to you, which kinda limits the long-time usability, as you won't be getting any new match suggestions unless new users register on the site. Again, because of the proximity idea which can really make some people feel uncomfortable when it comes to privacy, Happn has implemented a reciprocity function, which means that you can't freely message anyone, but only people who have matched with you. You can send them a "Hi" to notify them that you are interested in them but other than that unless they like you back and send "Hi" in return, you won't be able to contact that user ever again. The two users can only chat if their interest in each other is mutual. However, sending a "Hi" costs 1 coin, and all users are granted with only 10 free coins when they register. So, if you run out of them, you are locked out until you buy more, which means that the chat function is essentially not free.
On the other hand, there are some other unique features to help you in actually having something to do on the site. Once you open the chat with somebody, you can send them a voice message as well, which is really good since you can almost never hear your match's voice via other apps, or before and if you get to meet them in real life. Also, you can share Spotify song links via the chat. Another nice feature is the See You There, which allows you to publish what you will be doing in the following hours, and another member can reply if they are interested in joining you. As of lately, there is also a CrushTime option, which is a game where you can get an instant match if you guess right. How it works is that you are presented with 4 pictures of members that you've recently encountered, and one of them has liked you already. If you guess which one it is, you can instantly start chatting with them for free.
While the app works like a charm in highly populated areas, if you live in a suburb or something like that, you can consider yourself lucky if you get a couple of matches at all. Even though the app is very well designed and has a good concept of connecting people, it is very hindered by the proximity idea, low population and the fact that you have to buy more coins after you use your initial 10. However, the app is still young and in the early stages, and will hopefully become more viable when more people get familiar with its concept. Also, there is a premium subscription, which ranges from $10-20 for a month, depending on the plan that you choose. It comes with some nice perks, such as being able to send additional 10 "Hi" messages daily, play CrushTime and get notified whenever somebody likes you, and also remove those annoying adds.