How Does Happn Work: A Beginner’s Guide

A person who learned how does happn work using the app while walking down the street.

You see a cute stranger on the bus. Your eyes meet. Maybe you share a smile. The door opens at the next stop, and they get off never to be seen again. We’ve all been there. If you’re still ruminating on that missed connection, happn is the dating app for you.

Developed by French company FTW And Co, happn seeks to match singles that have crossed paths in real life. With happn, your potential romances show up in a vertical scrolling timeline as you cross paths with them, and you can even see a little map of the general area you met. No more missed connections.

If you’re thinking of giving it a try, here’s a quick overview of how happn works along with a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Step 1: Set up your account.
Like many of the other popular apps out there, happn is only available on your mobile device, so go ahead and download the app to your phone. The app requires daters to link their Facebook, so there’s no opting out here. Don’t worry—happn will never post your to your Facebook account. If you’re concerned about your privacy, happn offers extensive information about their data privacy policies, which you can look over here.

Next you’ll want to enable your mobile device’s location services. The app won’t be able to locate other daters otherwise, and you need to leave it on even when you’re not using that app. After you do that, the app will prompt you to fill in some basic information like educational background and birthday. Now you’re ready to start setting up your profile.

Step 2: Customize your profile.
Like most other online dating services, building an attractive, well-rounded profile is key to meeting other singles. When you create an account, happn automatically pools a select few photos from your Facebook account, but you’ll likely want to switch many of these out in favor of ones more suited to your dating profile. There’s a million and one ways to go about choosing photos, so I’ll just list a few basic tips to get the ball rolling.

The first photo is the most important and should be a good clean shot of you smiling. Try for a fun setting like a restaurant or a park. Next, be sure to grab a few action shots. If you’re a certified scuba instructor or spend weekends fronting a country band, feel free to slip in a photo or two of you in the act. You’ll also want to include at least one full body shot. The app offers nine slots for photos, but you should be okay as long you have six or so.

Now that your profile is all dappered up, let’s write a quick bio. There isn’t a lot of space for daters to work with on happn, but that’s okay—you don’t need to include your life’s story. Write a little bit about your hobbies and anything else that’s important to you. Feel free to throw in some fun facts, try to be funny, and keep it brief. Remember the goal here is to give other daters a jumping off point to start a conversation and get to know you.

Step 3: Start crushing.
Like most of its competitors, on happn you have to match with someone before you can talk to them. Only on happn, a match is called a crush. If two people on happn, heart each other, then it’s a crush and they can chat.

Unlike the other dating apps, you can’t just set a radius to find potential crushes. So, unless you live in a city, you’ll probably have to walk, drive, or at least hang out in a populated area if you’re looking to meet people. You’re not going to be able to sit at home sending out hearts left and right. This can be an up or downside depending on how you look at it.

Once you get out and about, people will start popping up in your feed. Each profile shows you a list of photos, a bio, and a small map. The map will show you roughly where you and the other person crossed paths, how many times you’ve crossed paths, and the time of the most recent encounter. Start sending out hearts to get to chatting.

You also have an additional option to say Hi to people you’ve crossed paths with. Hi’s are just like hearts, except they push a notification stating your interest and you have to pay for happn Premium to get 10 a day. It’s a good way to stand out from the crowd, but you still won’t be able to chat unless they heart you back.

The last little quirk I’ll mention here is the ability to set a status. You can list that you’re available to do one of a handful of activities, such as take a walk, go on a run, or get a drink. If other daters cross your path and want to meet up, they can reach out and the two of you can meet then and there.

Step 4: The paid option.
As with most dating services, there’s always the big question: to pay or not to pay. And in this respect, happn is no different.

If you choose to go for the premium subscription, you’ll get 10 Hi’s per day. (You start off with 10 free Hi’s to begin with, but once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.) You can only get more by paying for the premium subscription or inviting friends to join the app. Besides the Hi’s, premium subscribers also get a list of anyone that has hearted them, an option for invisibility if you want to hide yourself from other people’s queues, and the option to hide ads and various profile components you don’t want to share, like age, last active date, and distance.

Sometimes, finding crushes can take time so be patient. If you’re not getting crushes after a week or two, a premium subscription can be an effective way to improve your chances to meet those local strangers. Subscriptions begin at $11,49 for one month, $9.17 per month for three months, or $6.84 per month for six months.

That’s it! You’re all set now to cross paths and get chatting with the locals. Make it happn.

Alex Bocknek

Alex Bocknek is the senior editor of The Date Mix and works at Zoosk, the online dating service. He’s also a recovering music critic and an aspiring fiction writer (probably lost) on the way to an independent bookstore near you. He can be found occasionally musing about politics, philosophy, and love in the modern world.

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