They say that music is a universal language but for dating app Vinylly developer Rachel van Nortwick, it is more than that… it is a universal love language.  

Review: New Hulah dating app

“I’ve been a lifelong music fan,” she says. “It’s sort of my biggest passion, and I saw an opportunity to create an app that connected people based on music.” 

I must admit I always get intrigued by a dating app that hasn’t crossed my path yet. The new possibilities get me thinking about what kinds of people are out in the world. This app also had me wondering about how big of a role music plays in making a connection with another person. 

Nortwick launched her dating app “Vinylly” in October 2019 with the goal of connecting music fans solely based on their music tastes and behaviors. 

The app considers what music you listen to, how often you listen, what concerts you’ve been to, how often you attend concerts and what platforms you tend to listen on just to name a few of the music data points the app collects to provide potential matches. 

“My goal is that Vinylly is the go-to app for music fans,” Nortwick says. 

She even stuck to her music theme when designing the app’s layout which is a lot of fun but definitely takes time to adjust to if you are an avid user of other dating apps. A user is presented with all of their potential matches one at a time. A profile appears and the user can either press “play” to match, “skip” to move on, or “shuffle” to send them to the end of the list. 

The one thing I found hard about this set up is that my brain is conditioned to “swipe right,” so for the first few people I liked, I found myself instinctively hitting the “skip” button because it was farthest to the right. 

The last feature on the screen was my favorite: the volume. This feature showed you how compatible of a match you were based on your answers to the questions with the highest volume meaning most likely compatible. I thought this was a very creative way to be able to share those results with the users. 

In line with other dating apps, Vinylly has a basic chat function users can utilize to get to know their matches, but staying true to the music, there is an integrated function that allows users to search and share concerts and livestreams with matches. I really appreciated this feature as it both enhanced the theme of the app and makes it a little easier to plan a first date with your new match which can always be hard or awkward. 

Nortwick truly has created a unique environment for all but most specifically geared towards music fans and was ready to keep developing it.  

“In terms of thinking about dating apps, they’re really not that different than bars and clubs. They’re just online,” she said. “So, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool taking that to the next level to be able to think about pairing drinks with music genres that you or your potential match like.” 

Nortwick decided to do just that using artificial intelligence (AI) to create a new feature that utilizes ChatGPT to create blends of drinks based on two genres of music that you can then share on social media or share with a potential match. 

I will say that I had a lot of fun playing with the feature to find out what sort of cocktails it would come up with, and I appreciate that it provided all the ingredients and instructions if I wanted to try to make the cocktails. That being said I think the feature could be developed to also be able to be switched to mocktails instead because not everyone can or likes to drink alcohol.  

Nortwick says moving forward she plans to continue using AI to enhance the app and bring a better experience and better matches to her users. 

She says, “That’s logically where we would go is just leveraging it all back into just helping our users create those connections.”