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The Short Version: Over 30 million users strong, FirstMet is among the largest dating apps on Facebook, with about 40% of their membership located internationally. Hoping to better serve this diversity of users, FirstMet recently updated the platform: expanding their targeted audience to include people looking for meaningful connections of all kinds. Whether you seek friendship, romance, or lifelong love, this website and app has a place for you. FirstMet connects users in a low-pressure environment via their Facebook profiles, matching people effortlessly and authentically through common interests and friend networks.
In April 2011, Willis took a chance on love and created a dating profile on FirstMet. He wasn’t very hopeful about his prospects — he’d already had 25 accounts on other dating websites. Little did he know his luck was about to change. Within three weeks of joining FirstMet, he met the love of his life.
The moment he set eyes on Esther, he never wanted to be anywhere but by her side. She felt the same way, and after a few weeks of dating, she moved her life from Tahiti to the U.S. to be closer to him.
“When she answered the door, I knew she was the one I was looking for right away. It was like there was a hole in heaven and God’s loveliest angel fell right in front of me,” Willis said about their first date. “I want to thank FirstMet for introducing me to my wife. She is truly the greatest woman ever.”
On December 12, 2012, the couple got married in a Tahitian-style wedding. After the ceremony, the newlyweds took to the road, traveling across the United States in a whirlwind lifestyle and loving every minute of it.
Willis and Esther’s story is just one of many instances of a deep connection made on FirstMet. On this multi-platform dating site, singles meet new people in a casual online environment. With a new look and helpful features, this site facilitates happily-ever-afters for singles looking for friendship, romance, or true love.
The flagship brand of Snap Interactive Inc., FirstMet evolved from the former dating site Are You Interested (AYI).
Founded in 2007, AYI’s network reached over 30 million singles across the globe. However, the team thought they could do better. Now, FirstMet offers users an improved online experience with a better look and enhanced mobile capability.
Alex Harrington, SNAP Interactive’s Chief Financial Officer and CEO, came on board in 2014. He told us the purpose of the rebranding is “to get closer to truly defining our product without taking away from the features that made AYI great in the first place.”
Keeping the intuitive design and popular features of AYI, this new space opens singles up to all kinds of possibilities from casual friendship to serious commitment. A quick sign-up process and ready-made icebreaker can get you into a conversation in no time.
As Alex said, “We wanted our brand name to express a stronger connection to our mission: making it easier for single adults to meet new people in a friendly, low-pressure environment.”
SNAP Interactive keeps close tabs on how their customers are doing. During in-depth interviews with AYI users, the team found that a large number of people used the site just for casual chatting, meeting new people, and seeing where things go without any long-term intentions.
To build a more useful, targeted brand for customers, SNAP Interactive adapted its message and look to reflect its role as a dating platform and general social network. Today, FirstMet is a great place to meet new people who share your interests.
“We have brand new Icebreakers,” Alex announced with pride. “This was one of our most popular features on AYI and we have enhanced them to provide users with more ways to connect effortlessly with other members.”
The Icebreakers are quick questions that you can choose to send to another user. Questions like “Do you enjoy cuddling?” or “Rolling Stones or Beatles?” give you both something to talk about.
In addition to tried-and-true features like Icebreakers, there’s plenty on the horizon that’s sure to excite and invite singles to sign up. A new bonus for users is that FirstMet allows free messaging to matches, letting singles get to know each other better at no cost. If someone you like likes you back, you don’t have to upgrade your membership to send a message and start a conversation.
While updating the look of the site and app, the SNAP team also streamlined their internal infrastructure so that updates and improvements can be made more frequently.
“This is just the beginning for us,” Alex said. “Now that we have the infrastructure to support a lot of cool new features stay tuned for exciting new things to come!”
Over the years, SNAP Interactive has garnered a loyal user base of over 30 million singles. Roughly 60% of their users are in the U.S., and the rest are international. A key demographic in FirstMet’s membership is the 35 and older users.
Adults gravitated toward the site naturally and were welcomed by an open-minded atmosphere. The team saw that this demographic wasn’t getting the attention it deserves from other sites, so it adapted to better fit a more mature crowd.
“FirstMet fills an important void in helping single adults seek new relationships,” Alex told us, “while minimizing the effort and stress of getting back in the dating game.”
Whether you’re looking for a date, a friend, or a community, FirstMet has many diverse people available for easy chatting online. You could meet a new friend or a new spouse. You never know.
This newly minted space lessens the intimidation factor of putting yourself out there. FirstMet encourages singles to take more of a see-where-it-goes outlook. It could be love, romance, or friendship — there isn’t one path to a meaningful connection.
“By broadening the scope of what users’ intentions could be on the site, it lowers the pressure they may feel when reaching out to someone,” Alex said.
People lead busy lives and often don’t have a lot of time to devote to dating. Mobile dating gives singles that freedom and flexibility to flirt anywhere and anytime they choose. For FirstMet, mobile has become a greater priority.
“Since the majority of user activity in the dating category has shifted to mobile platforms,” Alex explained, “SNAP has been investing for the last several months to elevate our mobile applications to the highest standards in the industry.”
Mobile innovation and improvement is the focal point for the company, and the newly released FirstMet iPhone and Android apps reflect that. A clean, crisp, and user-friendly design ushers singles into an altogether better dating experience.
“Our developers have worked tirelessly to rebuild the iPhone and Android apps from the ground up,” he said.
As online dating shifts toward a mobile audience, FirstMet welcomes a new kind of single into their ranks. With quick browsing and fast matching, the app creates a casual and open-ended place to flirt.
Based in New York City, SNAP Interactive fosters a joyful startup atmosphere. At these offices, the walls are white boards, and every person on this tight-knit team is encouraged to collaborate, experiment, and innovate.
“SNAP is a place that is very diverse in personality,” Alex told us, “but what every employee has in common is the drive and determination to push forward and always continue growing.”
Free weekly massages and company-sponsored happy hours are just the tip of the iceberg of what this company culture has to offer its employees. SNAP’s team of roughly 25 people plays hard and works harder.
The many company perks include season tickets to the Knicks, a gym membership discount, and a ping pong table in the office.
“We believe in team building and bonding as a group,” Alex said. The company certainly does bond in group activities like paint nights, bowling, and renaissance fairs. SNAP frequently hosts fun and free events that include Smash Brothers tournaments, summer barbeques, and friendly games of dodgeball.
The Life@SNAP blog is full of side-splitting stories and mouth-watering pictures. With streamers and snacks galore, the team decks out the office for holidays, even combining Cinco de Mayo with May the Fourth Be With You — using pretty much any excuse to dress up and have goodies at work.
Whether it’s a chocolate fountain for Valentine’s Day or a full dinner spread for Friendsgiving, this team does holidays right. These bonding good times help with team unity as they work toward making the best product possible for singles.
“We strive to be the best and the brightest,” Alex said, “and that’s what we have with our employees.”
This is a dating platform that lets singles meet with no pressure and no judgment. Not all meetups have to end like Willis and Esther’s love story. FirstMet’s social network facilitates many happy marriages, but the team is just as happy to hear stories about pen pals and friendships formed as a result of the site.
An open-ended space, FirstMet encourages anyone taking a broad and casual approach to romance. It doesn’t have to be about finding “the one.” You can simply send an Icebreaker to someone who interests you and take it from there.
“We want to help our users meet new people and expand their horizons in a low-pressure way,” Alex said. “It could be anyone. You could be on the site to meet a potential date, a friend, or the future love of your life.”