It’s always exciting when our team gets a few minutes to sit down with the leaders of a major online dating brand. Recently, we were privileged to meet with several of the leaders from WooPlus, a niche dating app designed for curvy individuals. Specifically, our team spoke with Head of Marketing Penny Chan about the direction of the company and with CEO and Founder Neil Raman about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the company.
September 2023: Healthy Framework interview with Penny Chan, WooPlus’ Head of Marketing, and Neil Raman, WooPlus’ CEO and Founder
What separates WooPlus from the rest of the dating apps out there?
Penny: Unlike other platforms where curvy individuals might find themselves in the shadows, WooPlus puts curvy people in the spotlight. It is uniquely positioned as a platform that champions body positivity and inclusiveness. WooPlus is dedicated to creating a comfortable environment for curvy individuals, ensuring everyone feels welcomed and celebrated.
We are committed to elevating their dating experience and efficiency. Statistics indicate that on many other apps, 71% of curvy users experience body shaming. In contrast, WooPlus stands as a beacon of body positivity. We encourage our users to be themselves, to exude confidence in their true form, and to enjoy a stress-free dating experience as everyone should.
How would you describe the ideal customer WooPlus is designed for?
Penny: Our ideal user is someone who values genuine connections and appreciates the essence of body positivity. WooPlus is designed for those who enjoy a judgment-free zone, where individuality is embraced.
One of the things we’ve seen from WooPlus over the years is a proactive effort to protect users from things like cyberbullying and body shaming. Could you speak a little about how the company goes about this? Are there accomplishments here that you’re particularly proud of, and are there areas you’re working on improving in?
Penny: Absolutely. WooPlus takes a strong stance against cyberbullying and body shaming.
We’ve integrated advanced moderation tools to detect and remove any malicious content or behavior promptly. One accomplishment we’re proud of is our user feedback system, which allows our community to report and address any concerns actively.
We’re constantly iterating and looking to enhance our protective measures, ensuring our platform remains a positive space for everyone.
Do you have to be curvy to use WooPlus?
Penny: No, you don’t have to be curvy to use WooPlus.
Firstly, our platform is rooted in inclusivity; While WooPlus is designed with the curvy community in mind, we welcome everyone who values and respects our core principles of inclusivity and body positivity.
Secondly, while a significant portion of our users identify as plus size, we also have members of various sizes. This diversity underscores the widespread appreciation and attraction towards curvy individuals in our community.
Are there any new features or changes users can expect to see in the coming months and years?
Penny: We’re always innovating! Without giving too much away, users can anticipate enhanced algorithms, community events, and user-centric features to enrich their dating experience.
Curvy Ally Badge: In our most recent update, we proudly introduced the “Curvy Ally” feature. This unique badge signifies men who genuinely appreciate and embrace curvy women. Our female users have the empowerment to decide if men can retain this badge, and it even influences their continued presence on the app. The introduction of this feature has seen an overwhelmingly positive response, with over 90% of our male users proudly identifying as Curvy Allies. For a deeper dive, refer to our press release https://www.wooplus.com/blog/against-body-shaming here. To further amplify the voice of our curvy community, stay tuned for our upcoming #TakeNBiteChallenge on TikTok this October, aligned with events like Plus Size Appreciation Day and Curvy Day.
Revamped ‘For You’ Profile Display: We’ve reimagined our profile display to better highlight the depth and diversity of our users. The redesigned interface now features full-size profile pictures, turning profiles into a canvas where our users can showcase their personalities, passions, and stories. With interactive elements and a user-centric layout, we’re breaking beyond appearance, fostering an environment where genuine connections can truly flourish.
And There’s More: We’re committed to creating a more vibrant community, so you can expect upgrades fostering this vision. Additionally, keep an eye out for an array of exciting in-app events lined up for the future. We believe in keeping the WooPlus experience dynamic, ensuring there’s always something fresh for our users.
Is WooPlus using AI technology at all, or do you have plans to use it in the future?
Penny: Yes, we’ve recently taken a revolutionary step in the dating app industry by integrating ChatGPT, an advanced language model by OpenAI, into the WooPlus platform. Our primary aim is to enhance the user experience and make interactions more dynamic. The integration has allowed users to swiftly respond to messages during conversations with just a tap, leading to a 200% boost in match interactions and facilitating smoother ice-breaking moments.
But, like every innovation, it hasn’t been without its controversies. Feedback from our community has been varied:
- @Kylieeee98 appreciated how the tool assists in crafting funny lines, making interactions smoother.
- @Haroldopeguy, on the other hand, felt a touch of unease, believing that reliance on AI could make interactions feel less genuine.
- @TigerRocksit found value in ChatGPT but hoped for the ability to customize it to better match individual personalities.
Neil: At WooPlus, we’re always on the lookout for innovative methods to better our user experience. While ChatGPT integration has shown promise, we’re cognizant of the concerns some of our users have raised. We’re committed to striking the right balance, ensuring our platform remains authentic, personal, and meaningful.
We believe that the inclusion of AI tools like ChatGPT can amplify the quality of connections made on WooPlus. But we’re also keeping an ear to the ground, continually gathering feedback to refine this feature further. The world of online dating is evolving, and as we explore the potential of AI to enhance genuine connections, there’s much to research, consider, and optimize.
Are there any concerns for the dating industry as a whole when it comes to AI technology?
Neil: Artificial Intelligence is increasingly intertwining with the dating industry, presenting both potential benefits and challenges. The advent of AI in dating apps can revolutionize the way we connect. For instance, AI can offer more accurate and personalized matchmaking by analyzing vast data on users’ preferences and behaviors. It also enhances user authenticity by detecting fraudulent profiles and aids in sparking or facilitating conversations, making the initial phase of interaction more organic and less intimidating.
However, there’s an emerging concern about the genuineness of interactions. Many users feel a level of unease, unsure if they are engaging with the genuine thoughts of a potential match or simply an AI-crafted response. Furthermore, while some find these AI-generated quips engaging, others describe them as cringeworthy, indicating a gap between AI understanding and human nuance.
In summary, while AI has the potential to enrich the online dating experience by making it more efficient and personalized, it’s imperative for users and platforms alike to tread with awareness and ethical considerations, ensuring that the human touch in romantic interactions remains unaltered.
Romance scams are on the rise across the US. How does WooPlus combat this growing problem?
Penny: WooPlus prioritizes user safety above all. We employ rigorous vetting processes and consistently update our detection systems to identify and act against suspicious activities. Our team is also working on awareness campaigns to educate our users about potential scams.