The dating app where you're guaranteed to strike it lucky
On Shinder, the only competition is ... yourself, says Katie Wright
It seems like every five minutes there's a new website, or app, promising dating with a difference (have you heard about Hater, due out this month, which matches people based on the things they despise?).
But Shinder, which launched last week, really does stand out from the crowd. Why? Because the service offers women only one man to date.
That man is entrepreneur and author Shed Simove, who dreamt up the idea after not having much luck with the usual dating apps.
"I thought, 'How can I use my creative brain to have a competitive edge?' and my brain leapt to the idea of, 'If you're not a big fish in the pond, perhaps you could make your own pond'," Simove explains.
"So I decided, 'Okay, I'm going to build my own app, where the only man available to date is me'."
Sounds like a wind-up, doesn't it? Or a publicity stunt.
But Simove, who describes himself self-deprecatingly as "an acquired taste", insists this is a serious endeavour.
"Absolutely. It's definitely not a joke.
"It's just, for me, a way of turning (app dating) on its head and playing it all to my advantage."
In fact, the 45-year-old has already got a couple of dates lined up thanks to his unique approach, which is a web app (rather than a mobile download) that you log into via Facebook and choose to swipe left (for no), or right, for the chance to chat with the only profile on Shinder.me.
"I feel like the most fortunate man in the world.
"I've had over 100 matches and lots of people, even men, going on it as well to see what it's all about."
If men swipe right they get a message telling them Shinder is currently heterosexual, but to keep in touch. Now, if you're wondering, 'Why didn't I think of that?', or contemplating setting up your own solo service, be warned; creating a site like Shinder isn't as easy as it looks.
Nine months in the making and costing thousands of pounds, Simove says the build was incredibly stressful, mainly because he had three coders who all let him down at the last minute, but he's already had plenty of other single guys who want to borrow his brainchild.
"I do have a lot of men asking if I will white-label it to them, so if they're Barry it could be Binder, or if they're Harry it would be Hinder, which is really funny.
Or I've thought about running a competition and everyone crowd-decides who's the most worthy."
For now, though, he's going to focus on those dates in the diary and sifting through the matches that keep landing in his Shinder inbox.
"I spent so long on it, but I feel like, if I find my Shinderella, it will be worth it."