Willow is not your usual dating app. It totally veers away to the concept of dating app where members connect with other users based on appearance and what they see on their profiles. The matching algorithm of Willow is not based on appearance and information compatibility. Rather, matches are made based on how users “connect” with each other. Willow is a mobile dating app where conversations are initiated to make new connections. It is a platform where communities are built around topics that interest its members.
In Willow, members do not have profile photos. Instead, they are represented by an avatar that best describes their personality. Members can upload photos to their photo galleries, but these galleries are hidden from other members until a connection has been established and there is consent from both members. Establishing connections starts with answering questions posted by members which you can find from the app’s home page or by searching through tags in the ‘Discover’ tab. After answering a question, messaging will be unlocked for you and the member who asked the question. You can continue chatting by going to your inbox.
Most questions in Willow have tags so you can choose to answer whatever it is you are currently in the mood to share. If you are not interested in a question, you can simply swipe left and click the ‘X’ button that will appear. This will automatically remove that question from your timeline. When you want to answer a question, just simply click on it and write your answer in the field below. Or when you are just curious about other members’ answers, you can click the chat button found on the bottom right side of the question, and all the answers will be displayed through a list.
You can only sign up via a mobile number or Facebook account
A verification code will be sent to the number you provided if you signed up via mobile number
Uploading a profile photo is not required nor encouraged
You can choose and customise your own avatar
Providing your last name and email is optional
You can customise your notifications settings
No email verification required
Registering an account with Willow is a quick and easy process. You can sign up via your mobile number, in which you will be sent a code that you need to input in Willow’s verification page. You can also register through your Facebook account, wherein your Facebook account details such as email and name will be synced to Willow.
After choosing which you want to use for your Willow registration, you will be redirected to a page where you need to input your first name, age, and gender. Then you will be asked for your last name and email address, which you can actually skip. The last step of your registration is for you to set when you want to receive mobile notifications.
Profiles in Willow do not feature many information
There is an ‘About Me’ box for your short autobiography
You can choose from a list the traits you have which will be displayed on your profile
You can choose an avatar symbol as your profile photo
You can answer the questions posted by another member on the 'Questions' tab of that member's profile
You cannot view another member’s photo gallery unless you have answered his or her questions and that member approved your request to view his or her gallery
The profiles in Willow only have three tabs. The first tab is the profile information which has three parts that are optional to fill out:
Traits - this displays the traits that you chose from the ‘Traits’ list.
School - features which school you came from. You have the option to put your school if it does not show up on the drop-down list.
‘About Me’ biography - this is a self-written paragraph that describes who you are.
The next profile tab is a list of questions which that particular member had posted on the ‘Questions’ tab.
The last tab is the ‘Photo Gallery’ which is hidden from members who have not yet connected to that particular member. Photo galleries can only be unlocked if you answer the member’s questions, and he or she agrees to reveal his or her photos to you.
Willow has a clean and intuitive design. Whenever you open the app, you will be taken to the app’s home page. The home page features ‘Popular’, ‘Global’, and ‘Local’ tabs that have questions that are asked by Willow members. On the top left, you will find an icon that represents the ‘Settings’, and on the top right, a chat icon with a plus sign inside it can be found. This icon is the one that you press if you want to ask a question to start a conversation.
At the bottom part of the screen, there are five icons. The first one is for the home page, and the second consists of two arrows that represent your chat exchanges. The third icon is a magnifying class that means ‘Search,’ in which you can find questions based on popular or trending tags. The fourth icon is a chat bubble, where all your questions are listed as well as the answers you’ve received. Lastly, the fifth icon is for your profile.
Overall, the design of Willow is pretty straightforward, and you can find anything easily with just one click.
“I was an avid user of Willow a couple of years back. I use it whenever I get bored and just need someone to talk to. I had great conversations with people—no strings attached, just pure conversations. It was interesting that people there talk without the bias and judgment of how a person looks like. Just recently, I remembered the app and decided to create a new account since I’m now using a different number. I was a bit disappointed to find that there were very few people active in the app today. Last questions posted were days ago, unlike before, the questions were overflowing. Also, not many members upload photos on their galleries so there was nothing to unlock. I might delete the app now and just find another one with a similar idea.” - Bret, 25, Auckland
Overall, Willow’s concept is truly unique compared to other dating apps. With Willow’s priority in building connections through conversation, you are sure to meet someone who shares the same thoughts and opinions. Willow’s conversation over appearance ideation allows members to build a foundation for their relationship that is faceless and pure heart. If you are tired of the judgment and the fast-paced, roulette-type matching of other online dating apps, then Willow would fill your need. But if you feel like Willow is not for you, you can check out other apps that we reviewed in our Dating Apps category.
What is The Willow App?
Willow is a mobile dating app that makes its members’ personalities shine over their appearance by facilitating discussions.
Who is the founder of Willow?
Entrepreneur Michael Bruch founded the Willow app.
How is Willow different from other dating apps?
Willow is different from other dating apps because connections are made solely through conversation and not appearance. Willow does not display profile photos, rather, images are exchanged when a conversation strikes between two members.
Who can join Willow?
Anyone in legal age can join Willow.
Is Willow available in desktop?
Willow is only available as a mobile app.
How do I join Willow?
You can join Willow by registering using your mobile phone or your Facebook account.
Does Willow offer premium membership?
Willow does not offer a premium membership.
How do I permanently delete my Willow account?
You can permanently delete your account by going through your ‘Settings’ and clicking the ‘Delete Account’ at the very bottom of the page.
Can I retrieve my messages on my deleted Willow account?
Once you delete your account, you cannot retrieve old connections and conversations. Willow does not store deleted account details.
Can I temporarily deactivate my Willow account?
Unfortunately, you cannot temporarily deactivate your Willow account.
How do I use Willow?
Sign up for an account and answer the questions you find on your home dashboard to connect with people. You can start a conversation with a member after answering his or her question, or with members who answer the questions you post.
How do I upload a photo?
You can upload a photo in Willow by going to your profile and clicking the ‘+’ button on the Photos tab.
How come I cannot see other users’ photos?
You cannot see photos of Willow members until you connect with them.
What are the questions I find on my home dashboard?
The questions found on your home dashboard whenever you open your Willow app are conversation starters, which you need to answer in order to connect with the user who asked the question.
Do I need to turn on my mobile’s Location whenever I use the app?
It is optional to turn on your ‘Location’ whenever you use Willow. If you want to answer the questions asked by members who are approximate to your current location, the app would prompt that you turn on your 'Location'.
How do I chat with other members?
You can chat with other members who have become your connections through your messages inbox.
What security features does Willow offer?
A user is abusing me, how do I block and report that member?
You can block an abusive user on Willow by clicking the ‘Block & Report’ button found on his or her profile.
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