four friends sitting at the top of a hill laughing

Why We Don’t Have Profile Pictures

    There are a number of dating sites and apps taking over the social app landscape. They provide an escape for us when we’re bored, lonely, or looking for something different. These apps are designed to provide us with an efficient method for connecting with other individuals. It’s a fairly simple process to swipe on profiles until you find a match. 

    However, as these apps evolve to compete with each other for your attention, they end up focusing too much on providing you with quick and easy options and less on fostering meaningful relationships. While most apps build user profiles around pictures that are used to present the best version of yourself to others, the Passionfruit app takes a unique approach by choosing not to include profile pictures at all. 

    The Passionfruit app is built on a philosophy of meaningful design in an effort to foster meaningful relationships. It may seem questionable to build a friendship app that doesn’t allow you to see your new friends until you meet in person (or on another platform). However, there are a number of reasons why the Passionfruit app doesn’t include profile pictures.

Swiping Culture is Toxic

    The prevalence of hook-up culture has undoubtedly influenced the development of app designs that emphasize “swiping”. All you need to do nowadays is swipe on whoever you fancy. The simplistic approach to match-making has been ingrained in muscle memory for frequent users. It allows people to go through a large number of profiles in a short amount of time. Once you find a match, you start a conversation and go from there. If it doesn’t work out with one person, there are other matches waiting. 

    In an effort to make this process efficient, the criteria of match-making has been reduced to quick glance of profile pictures. In the few seconds it takes to swipe on a profile, you have little time to decide whether you like someone. Most of the time, people don’t even look at the bio and make their decisions solely based on looks. For those looking for a one-night stand, or even those who are simply bored, swiping culture has made it much easier to participate in the hook-up culture. It’s not surprising that almost half of Tinder users use the app specifically for hooking up. So what about the people looking for something more? 

    The Passionfruit app helps users meet new people online in order to find a genuine connection. By shifting the focus from pictures to personality, we allow our users to discover common interests shared by others. We want to encourage our users to take the time to get to know someone before deciding to match with them. Instead of cheesy one-liners, you have the option to start a conversation about something substantial. You’re much more likely to find a meaningful connection and a long-lasting friendship when you take the time to get to know someone for who they really are.

Looks Can Be Deceiving (& Harmful)

    If you’re looking to meet new people online, you’re probably aware of the dangers of catfishing. You meet someone on a social media app, you start getting friendly in the DMs, and you decide to hang out in person. However, once you get there, you realize your new friend doesn’t look like their pictures. In the worst of cases, you’re being catfished by someone who looks nothing like their pictures in an attempt to catch you in a vulnerable state. The potential for danger is immediate and evident. However, even in the best of cases, misleading profile pictures can be a recipe for disaster for both parties.

    When you take a chance on meeting someone based solely on their looks, a lot can go wrong. With a plethora of image filters and lighting hacks, a person can make considerable changes to the way they look in their pictures. If you find the person you’re meeting isn’t as attractive as you thought, you will have little reason to continue hanging out with them. You may feel disheartened that you wasted your time and effort just for things to backfire on you. It may lead you to be less trustworthy of the next person you meet online. However, the core issue may not be about deception at all. 

    People may not be aware that they are catfishing when they share misleading pictures online. Instead, they may simply be trying to showcase a positive image of themselves to seek external validation. In the age of social media, self-esteem and body image issues are crippling factors for teenagers and young adults. Both men and women who use dating apps are more likely to have lower levels of self-esteem and compare their appearances to others. 

    To combat these issues, the Passionfruit app does not ask you to share your profile picture. Instead, we offer a platform for you to share the things that make you who you are. You’re much more likely to be more authentic and meet people who are just as unique and interesting as you. Once you make a new friend on the Passionfruit app, you can decide whether to share your social media profiles or images of yourself on a secure third-party messaging platform. 

Final Thoughts

    While social media and dating apps provide a convenient way to meet new people online, we recognize that these apps contribute to many harmful issues in our society today. The Passionfruit app was designed to help you make new friends and foster meaningful relationships while being considerate about your mental health and wellbeing. We created a platform so you could share an authentic version of yourself and find someone who is just as unique as you. To that end, we decided not to include profile pictures in the Passionfruit app, so you don’t have to worry about looks until you really get to know someone. After all, at the end of the day, how we look is unimportant. It’s the inside that counts