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Getting Jiggy with JigTalk

29 October 2015
Getting Jiggy with JigTalk
JigTalk - the brainchild-dating app of two friends turned business partners Alex and Max - is on the cusp of something pretty exciting. Their app aims to be the complete flipside of more visually led dating apps like Tinder, Grindr etc by initially removing the visual element out of the equation i.e. your lovely beaming face is blocked out by a pesky colourful jigsaw. The app, part gimmick, part remedy to the stale and often slightly worrying trends of vapid app-initiated encounters, designs to create a new approach to finding love through personality first.

JigTalk - Article 1Photography provided by Mark Wheelwright

With a self confessed Ying and Ying dynamic, creators Alex and Max bring exuberance and industriousness to their joint venture JigTalk. The pair is a dynamic duo, with Max leading the creative conception - often interjecting our conversations with ‘ooh what if…?’ and Alex strategising and crunching the numbers. Although they seem alarmingly young in the entrepreneurial game, they seem to know their market well though that is unsurprising given the modern proclivity towards the technological sector. Furthermore, their app is a lot of fun too, and who doesn’t love another excuse to fiddle with your iPhone?

Max explains their ‘Eureka moment’; ‘‘There I was in the early Summer of 2014. April the 20th to be precise. I was sitting at my desk in my pants (and nothing else) playing around on Tinder when a golden question mark nutted me. ‘Talk first. Photo second?’ I thought. Boom. I stood up. I walked in one small circle. I instantly logged onto Gamechanger.com to see if the idea was already taken. The made up website gave me no results. Without adding clothes to my body, I ran into my mates room and did a little wiggle. No longer would I need to swipe right on a Tinder female. Not long until we made our decisions firstly on personality. Okay, as trendy as those Tinderers looked, most of them had the personality of a foisty tea-towel. It was time for a change, and I wanted to be the one who made it happen’’.

The premise of the app certainly resonates; for those a little tired of being disappointed or objectified by apps primarily concerned with what a person looks like, and the people primarily concerned with what you look like, JigTalk re-inserts a bit more of ‘the chase’ behind what makes dating fun. Prompting you to list three ‘ice-breaker’ facts; Occupation, Favourite Thing and a Random Fact it enlists your creativity and character to be front and centre, so you can attract potential mates via your winning personality.

While apps like Tinder certainly economise people’s non-existent time by creating a hand held microcosm of the stranger-in-a-bar scenario, it has been suggested that that the initial excitement and personal interaction crucial to a successful romantic encounter is eradicated by the barrier of technology. While JigTalk (like any other dating app) is unable to teleport users to an up-close and personal proximity with their object of desire, it does facilitate a more personal service. JigTalk slows down the elimination process by forcing people to decide if someone is actually a remotely compatible partner first, resisting the trigger-happy left and right swipe responses that perhaps sabotage genuinely promising matches. Alex and Max certainly recognise that looks are still a very important part of the dating game of course; JigTalk just rewards you with the visuals if you put in the conversational effort!

Max says: You should use JigTalk if....

• You use a smartphone. Not a Nokia 3310.

• In your opinion: personality is more important than hairstyle.

• You have more than one brain cell.

• An exotic fetish for jigsaw pieces is rooted deep inside your subconscious.

• You wanna be a part of it from the start of it.

Alex says: You shouldn’t use JigTalk if...

• Words are meaningless to you.

• When it comes to friends and lovers, looks are all that matter.

• You play music out loud from your phone whilst sitting on the bus.

• You think meeting new people is for weirdos.

• You’re a boring human being.

Emma is a Freelance Writer for Leeds Living. She has a degree in English literature from the University of Leeds and specialises in writing cultural editorials.