Wyldfire Review: What you need to know
It was always going to happen, I guess, that with easily accessible dating apps you might lose a little in… shall we say quality control. There are a few men out there who think what’s really sexy to a woman is scampering frantically around the dating scene like an over-sugared kid in a candy store, and FYI, sending a strange woman a picture of a random penis doesn’t shout “romance” either. To get around these concerns the latest apps are turning towards a more female friendly dating model, with women becoming the ” gate-keepers” of the system. For Wyldfire, a Tinder-style female friendly dating app, that means men are only able to join through specific invitation from an existing female member. The company strap-line is “ditch the creeps” and that’s their basic aim, to make dating fun again not an obstacle course.
Wyldfire Review: The Stats
Wyldfire isn’t long out of beta and still isn’t quite yet ready for Google Play, though that is coming soon. For Apple it’s compatible with iPod, iPad, and iPod touch and requires iOS 7 or above.
It’s available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese and Spanish so plenty of choice there!
Wyldfire is a free app, and seems at least currently to be focused on North America where perhaps female friendly dating has taken off in a bigger way. The target group are slightly older and more sophisticated daters who aren’t looking for casual hook-ups and one-nighters, but something a little more lasting. You’d also expect a certain social sensibility, an expectation that women were going to be treated with more respect by the intended user group.
Wyldfire Review: What it packs
Wyldfire was developed by women and it shows. Though founded by men, the founders say “We can’t tell what women want. So we hired awesome women to work with, we interviewed 200 women to try and nail down the right choices, and hired female designers so we could implement the right features,” and it feels like that has really worked.
Women join and then go through a pretty rigorous verification process linking their Wyldfire account to their Facebook account. Men have to be individually invited by a woman member by being sent a “feather” text message, the logic being that women will ask those guys in the “friend zone” who they don’t want to date themselves, but think are a catch for someone else, and not invite the dick-pic creeps and proto-stalkers!
The features are not just about the initial security, there are ongoing features within the app to protect members from harassment such as the 20 message limit which prevents an exchange of messages going beyond 20 without either a real-life meet, or the woman activating a higher level of messages. The developers feel this protects women- and men too- from the levels of messaging that can quickly spiral up into stalking. And to guard against those playing at dating as a numbers game the system limits you to 3 hints ( similar to a Facebook poke) a day. If a “creep” does slip through the selection net, the community will deal with them effectively and pretty swiftly by all accounts. Misbehaviour can be flagged easily and the user is then put under review.
The website design looks classy too, and the decision to make profile pictures black and white is clever. All in all a well designed and female friendly dating app.
Wyldfire Review: The Last Word
Wyldlife is a lovely idea, well executed, and classily presented. There is clearly a need for a female friendly dating app that tries to deliver a genuinely comfortable atmosphere for women, and equally for the men who aren’t jerks and just want to meet some nice people. It accommodates same-sex and hetero relationships and it feels safe and welcoming. But for an app with that precise USP my one concern is the security. Because you’re going to feel safe with someone from Wyldfire, because that may well mean your guard is down, you really need to feel that the vetting is all that it could be. And while men need to be invited by women to join, all women have to do is sync to their Facebook profile. There is nothing to stop any man wanting access from creating a fake Facebook profile, or from setting his gender on Facebook to female, which feels like a serious flaw in the design.
Wyldfire Review: Rating 3/5
I want to like it. I want to give it a high score for its idealism and its style. There are problems with the limited membership, mainly covering NYC, Boston, London, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, LA, and San Diego, but hopefully time and success will improve that. There is a concern that this is a model that’s going to attract vastly more women to it, but that may just balance out the usual male-heavy dating scene.
But that one big concern about security is what drags my score down to a 3/5 . Wyldfire would be absolutely fine as long as no creepy man ever thinks to just toggle his Facebook setting to female.