We know today’s daters are tired of the ‘self-imposed pressure for conventional labels’ (Tinder, 2023) and many seek the freedom to define their own relationships. They are wanting an invitation to self exploration and freedom to seek out a bit more of what they fancy.
And this more intentional approach to romantic life is reshaping dating culture – and of course, dating apps. It can even be a direct antidote to the downsides of dating app culture (ie the 35 percent who experience unwanted sexual images, or the 80 percent exposed to emotional burnout, Pew 2020; Singles Report 2023).
While it’s something that Tinder and Hinge have recognised by adding open relationships to profile options, dating app Feeld is leading the way (not least by referring to daters as ‘humans’). Below is our semiotic analysis of the Feeld brand to show what this reshaped dating culture looks and sounds like…
Visuals of gentle skin-to-skin embrace suggests touch is used as a means of intimate discovery, and a level of trust and support. Warm colour palettes and references to physical softness (foliage and nature, hazy images) creates an approachable space. Meanwhile, imagery of people smiling and mutually embracing each other evokes a feeling of closeness and deep connection. By coding Feeld as facilitating intimate depth that goes beyond carnal lust, dating culture can explore the possibilities of more meaningful relationships.
Introducing a new wave of daters who are ‘experimental’, Feeld signals a dating culture that’s abandoning tradition. While other mainstream apps use the term ‘preferences’, that can often make dating feel like you’re headhunting a mate, Feeld instead uses the term ‘desires’ . This reestablishes the priority of pleasure and joy in dating. We’re also seeing unposed visuals of diverse couples passionately and full heartedly engaging with each other in private spaces, as well as documentation of personal stories, evoking a feeling of trust and honesty not only between connections, but among a like minded community. In all, Feeld is a safe place to explore an inclusive and authentic approach to dating.
The app positions itself as always in a “dialogue” with its users. It uses open language with a comforting tone of voice when addressing ‘taboo topics’, similar to a teacher-like quality of benevolent guidance, enlightening daters about the spectrum of intimacy. We also see visuals that evoke a feeling of being welcomed – boards that encourage users to “come on in” resemble signage we’d see outside of spaces of hospitality, ensuring that there’s a place at the table for everyone to explore and to truly “Find Your People”.
Through very careful and thoughtful use of imagery and words, Feeld reveals a whole-hearted commitment to showing how using dating apps can be a safe, inclusive and most importantly, joyful, experience. In this light, it’s doing even more than reshaping dating culture, it’s showing how we can reshape how we connect as humans.
If you’d like to learn more about how we use semiotics to reach real cultural insights, get in touch at: hello@crowdDNA.com