Updated: Jan 27, 2021
It’s been almost one year since we – two Gen Z sisters – set out to build the Chances App, which was right before COVID-19 started. We’re so excited to officially release it today in the App Store. But, before we jump into just how amazing the Chances App is for firing up a variety of relationships from friendships to dating based on mutual intentions, lets give you a little background.
Before COVID even started, we were already at a loss as to why we were feeling disconnected when we had so many ways to connect through social media and dating apps. We weren’t getting what we yearned for through likes, comments and swipes – leaving a void for the human connection that we all need. How do you build more meaningful relationships from social media platforms and dating apps that are meant to hook you? (Have you seen The Social Dilemma)?
You don’t! It’s a constant cycle of trying to decipher what “liking your picture” or “swiping right” means. There is a lack of a deeper connection and it turns out the meaning of those actions differ per person. We came to believe we were looking for something on these platforms that they were not designed to deliver. Sometimes a “like” is just a “like” and nothing more. In other words, intentions are rarely communicated directly, so people might connect but rarely feel truly connected.
New Approach: “Intentions” vs. “Attention”
We all grew up hearing, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” however, that’s how social media platforms and dating apps are set up. This is shown by quickly swiping, liking and commenting on pictures or posts (and of course, returning back to see how much attention these items are getting and not feeling great when they don’t meet your expectations, all designed to sell ads). For example, Itzel, a UCLA sophomore, says “no longer do I want to be “swiped” on, have my photos be “liked”, or get another “streak” on snap. It’s time for a real connection for Gen Z!”
That’s why we chose a new approach, where people can easily understand the intentions behind every action. Intentions are key in every relationship. When the Chances App team talks about relationships, we are talking about the variety of relationships, from friends, to study buddies, to dating and everything in between. Connecting with someone on shared intentions can lead to some amazing connections and experiences.
Watch the video for a quick overview on how Chances works!
We made it easy to connect with people based on mutually selected intentions across nine areas in the Chances App. These include Connect, Friends, Let’s Chat, Let’s Hang, Let’s Game, Let’s Study, Let’s See, FWB (Friends with Benefits), and Let’s Date with many more to come. Whether looking for casual acquaintances, study partners, close friends, or possibly the love of your life, it’s easy to use Chances to see where your intentions match with people you know, know of, or want to know.
Connected - What now? ACTIVITIES
There is little meaningful one-to-one interaction between people using traditional social media apps. When you follow, friend, or link on social media today, what do you do? Most Gen Zers simply look at their posts, photos, or videos, some will like it, others will occasionally attempt a conversation in chat, but more often than not, we simply scroll through the feed.
Chances has answered the question of “what now?” with Activities. During COVID, feedback from UCLA students identified the need to help young adults plan activities after connecting – whether it be a small, socially-distanced outing during COVID or a virtual event. When it comes to Activities, Chances makes it easy to take the initiative, invite someone new, or meet up with your besties and explore a new activity safely during the pandemic and beyond. It’s as easy, if not easier than sending a text. Madi, UCLA sophomore explains that Activities in the Chances App, “makes hanging out simple and stress free.” Chances emphasizes the importance of connection and human interaction - so important during Covid.
How it started? The TEAM
What can we say, having a tech entrepreneur dad is pretty helpful if you want to build an app that will change the world! We jokingly refer to our dad Rob as “America’s Dad.” He is Chances’ resident startup nerd. He’s passionate, conscientious, and the head “Listener” at Chances. He’s seen us struggle with social media since high school, but those challenges really became more obvious when we went off to college and started “adulting.” So we hit him up and his wealth of startup experience to help us build Chances into a compelling social relationships app for Gen Z that will change our relationships for the better. But make no mistake, he’s not the stereotypical, overbearing dad, so when we tell him that the app has to allow people to even choose “Friends with Benefits,” he listens, grudgingly.
We’re Vanessa (23), a recent graduate from Seattle University, and Noelle (19), a sophomore at UCLA, and throughout 2020 we tested the Chances App with our friends and classmates. Vanessa reached out to her friends, many being recent graduates entering the workforce. Noelle joined forces with her UCLA circle which allowed her to dive deeper into the lack of connection other students were experiencing. Like most colleges, the vast majority of UCLA classes were online with most of the campus closed, leaving them with only Zoom meetings for day-to-day interaction to only see their classmates digitally. Hundreds of UCLA students had an overwhelmingly positive reception to Chances, and their feedback demonstrated Gen Z’s hunger for an app that facilitates deeper and more authentic connections where both people are on the same page. Chances has 40 UCLA ambassadors that are ready and excited to share the app.
Community, Advisors, and Seed Investors
We have intentionally created the Chances community of supporters, ambassadors, advisors, and investors! They are true believers in teamwork and collaboration. At Chances, everything comes down to people, which will always be key in everything we do.
We start our meetings with, “What are your human needs?” Everyone states how they are feeling and what is going on in their life. It can be as little as “I’m hungry” or “This made me smile today.” This allows others to understand them and hear them from where they are at. Most importantly, this humanizes the company and keeps everyone at a level of understanding of why they are creating Chances. To dive deeper, Chances also has an advisory team made up of psychology, marketing, podcast, and start up experts that use their chosen field and their focus on people to help Chances do the right things.
We want all of you Gen Z and young millennials to be an active part of Chances. We're just starting. We need your input. When something doesn't work, let us know. When you have an idea, tell us. We see you as a critical part of making Chances better for all of us. Help us be an App that you love and changes your life.
We are incredibly clear in our intentions - to create intentional and meaningful relationships. It’s time to start #takingchances and see where you match up with people you know, know of, or want to know! Who will you Take a Chance on? They’re not on Chances? Invite them. Too nervous to invite them? Ask a Wingfriend or your Community! Need some additional advice? Tune into our Podcast “Taking Chances with Vanessa and Noelle.”
Your Chance Takers,