Penn State Alums Develop New App To Change The Dating Scene
Penn State alumnae Julie Griggs and Danielle Dietzek are hoping to change the dating scene with their new app, Fourplay. Unlike other dating apps, Fourplay gives pairs of single friends a chance to team up and match with other pairs of singles, making first dates less awkward and as Griggs and Dietzek hope, safer.
The idea originated while Griggs and Dietzek were living together in New York after meeting as sorority sisters at Penn State. They felt like the dating scene was not fun, so they decided to make a shared dating profile on one of the very popular dating apps as a joke. It turns out that the idea generated a bit of positive feedback, which left the pair curious if they could take it one step further.
That curiosity started to become a reality when the two began to do research on the different dating apps and particularly, double-dating apps. The primary goal of the app was to make dating more fun, but they discovered disturbing facts about sexual assault as it relates to dating. According to a story by Sky News, crimes related to online dating rose by 382% from 2011 to 2016.
“That is when we realized that Fourplay was not only going to make dating more fun, but it was also going to make dating a lot safer,” Dietzek said. “You’re going to be there, you’re going to have someone there who knows you, who has your back, who is there to make sure that the date ends smoothly without any problems.”
There are many aspects of Fourplay that sets it apart from other dating apps. Unlike many other datings apps, Fourplay is completely free with no premium charges. Anyone can team up with as many friends and match with as many different types of people as they want. The personality of the app really makes it unique.
“Ours is a really good mix of being lighthearted and goofy, while also taking something like dating and your sexual health very seriously. I think that we’re a really good mix of being fun but also being socially responsible,” Griggs said.
The two were initially targeting people from ages 20-30, but they’ve begun to shift to target more college students after investigating a lot of statistics regarding sexual violence in college aged students.
“There’s a critical need for a resource, like a safer dating app, so we have begun the shift into the college population,” Dietzek said.
The two also discussed how influential Penn State was in making them successful.
“Since there are a lot of students at Penn State, you’re truly measured the same way everybody is else,” Griggs said. “It really forces you to work hard to achieve what you want to achieve. One of our professors told us that you can’t satisfy a short-term impulse if it will compromise your long-term goal. Penn State really instilled the discipline in us to stay focused and work hard.”
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