Gamified Dating App XOXO Enters the US Market

By Grit Daily Staff Grit Daily Staff has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on November 29, 2021

XOXO is a new gamified dating app for open-minded people meant as a safe space for all backgrounds, genders, and appearances has just launched in the U.S.

The app is created by a group of people eager to think one step ahead and imagine the future of dating. Launched in July 2021, it has reached over 100K downloads on App Store and Google Play and, with its 35K monthly active users, is on track to becoming a venue for a diverse community where people get to know each other and stay in touch in a safe environment.

XOXO is a twelve-person international team of designers, developers, marketers based across four time zones, set out on a quest to break away from the generic solutions of the current dating app market. Earlier this year, the company closed its Series A financing, having raised $5 million.

As part of its mission, XOXO wants to relieve the pain of contemporary solitude, so often reflected and reinforced by dating fatigue, and reinvent dating tech for the new generation. The company believes it’s the thing to do at the time of global shifts in diversity and social understanding of gender, and body image. It is a venue where identities are not used as a label to judge people and the experience of getting to know others is gamified.

Decisively and enthusiastically, XOXO is shaped around several novel and creative features:

  • Onboarding quiz. The “totally scientific” onboarding quiz is a personality placement test that gets people to look deep into their own mind and heart to discover themselves. It places them as types to highlight differences and similarities between users.
  • Totems. Personality types are visualized through cute totems that each present a mental portrait for others to see. Totems also become “living” virtual companions whose health is fueled by user activity on the app.
  • Totem-based group chats. Based on totem types, users are randomly assembled into group chats. They become a powerful text- and personality-based alternative to the visuals-based feel, a space for connecting with folks with similar temperaments.
  • Tasks, XP, and badges. XOXO proposes a track of individual tasks rewarded with XP gains and badges to help people familiarize themselves with both the community and the environment.

This rich ecosystem creates a layer of playfulness and mysticism for a gently gamified dating experience. It felt right to go one step further and also rid XOXO of some suffocating features common on the market:

  • No filters. XOXO does not intend gender-age-sexuality-body type filtration for the feed, so everyone could meet more people we think they might like. And no, there are no gender-age-sexuality boxes in the profile, either.
  • No age line. XOXO ballparks “mental age” of people as part of the onboarding quiz as they believe it can often be a more interesting description point than the actual age.
  • No reject button. There is no traditional button for rejecting people—as we could all do with a little bit less explicit negativity in our lives.

For its new updates, they made the totems feel more alive — so they gave them so-called health bars. The three Food, Fun, and Convo bars signal the status of the totem’s health and are fueled by users’ activity on the app, such as swiping, messaging, and liking other users. This further gamifies the environment and smoothes out a social experience. To top it off, XOXO also overhauled the entire Shop: there’s now the new treats category with food, fun, and convo items that help users take good care of their totem by filling their health bars in a different way.

All this has been done in service of what is the priority: an entertaining social and dating experience for like-minded youth. 

XOXO offers no endgame—it forces no preferred user journey in terms of what or who you will find on the other side: romance, sex, friendship, or camaraderie. To foster our community, we aim to surprise and suggest connections to who people think they like as people we believe they will like. 

People as they are, dating as it should be. XOXO is about meeting real personalities.

By Grit Daily Staff Grit Daily Staff has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Grit Daily News is the premier startup news hub. It is the top news source on Millennial and Gen Z startups — from fashion, tech, influencers, entrepreneurship, and funding. Based in New York, our team is global and brings with it over 400 years of combined reporting experience.

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