September 16, 2020
If you are someone who uses dating apps, it is very likely that you have stumbled on Delta. Delta is one of the safest LGBTQ+ friendly dating apps that has absorbed the idea of inclusivity. FSOG had plenty to ask Ishaan Sethi, the founder of Delta about the dating situation in India and of course, the app.
What were the complications that you could not foresee while creating an LGBTQ+ dating platform?
When we started working on the Delta app, we conducted research with multiple stakeholders (legal, healthcare, intended users, etc). We also held focus groups to preempt various challenges we would face, and to a large extent, we were able to do so.
I think the biggest complication we faced was the regional differences within the LGBTQ community itself. The community is rather fragmented and therefore spreading the word about the app required a lot of creative thinking & strategic partnerships with queer organizations. While some were very forthcoming, others were skeptical about working with a “company”.
Additionally, before section 377’s reading down, we were very careful with respect to the language we used as we talked about the app. While we were always out & proud from the beginning, we had to be smart with our tone & marketing. We had to ensure we don’t ruffle too many feathers & are yet clearly understood by the LGBTQ community.
What are the tips and tricks to finding a good match on Delta?
Unlike many other dating apps that focus on purely superficial aspects such as looks & location, Delta hopes to create a safe space to form more meaningful connections, above & beyond a “hook up”.
To this effect, I’d say you should fill out your compatibility quiz as honestly as possible – this will help our algorithms find the right type of people we believe you’re most likely to hit it off best with. Additionally, online safety is a big aspect of the app. I’d suggest you try & increase your trust score through the options available, especially selfie verifications. This really minimizes the chances of catfishing on the app & users with higher trust scores always get more matches.
Fill your bio & things that matter in creative & interesting ways – people can only see limited information before they decide to send you a Spark (our version of a Like/DM). So, it is important that you let your personality shine through these sections.
Finally, upload recent pictures that aren’t blurred or unclear. Your picture makes an impact and no one wants to go on a date with a headless torso.
Why did you name the app Delta?
- My inner math geek – Delta is a symbol for change & we came into existence before section 377 was read down. We wanted this app, from day 1, to be a safe space for a community. As a brand, we have done some amazing, impactful work to further the LGBTQ cause in India, with measurable results. To this effect, Delta signals a positive change.
- Everyone knows that the rainbow is a symbol for Pride, however few know that the triangle has also been a symbol for gay pride. It was resurrected by gay liberation groups in the 1970s as a symbol for the gay rights movement. The mathematical notation for Delta is a triangle & hence we felt this was apt.
What are the biggest do(s) and don’t(s) that you follow and suggest others to follow on dating apps?
- Be honest, especially about your sexual health, such as HIV status
- Protect your identity – Be very careful while posting your full name, phone number, email address or other sensitive personal information (including bank account details) on your profile. Delta does not show your name or contact details to any other User unless you give consent, ie, match with that user.
- Don’t believe everything you see – A photo can’t always be trusted. The person may have taken someone else’s photo or found one somewhere. Also, keep in mind that the photo sent to you may be outdated, edited or retouched. At Delta, we do our best to ensure pictures are verified & real.
- Don’t rush into things – Do not share your location and other details under any pressure. You should share this information only when you are fully sure about it.
- Report any attacks or threats to Delta & law enforcement – If things go wrong, report it to us immediately. Give us all the facts. If you do not report this person, he/she in all likelihood will do it again to someone else.
- Consent is paramount – You always have the right to say “no” and have it respected.
- Always meet in a public place when you meet someone for the first time. Let your friends know where you are going & with whom.
What are the important things to ask someone to start getting to know them?
At Delta, we do our best to match people based on their preferences across sexual orientation, gender identity, age, locations & more complex measures such as values & beliefs.
LGBTQ+ people are like anyone else you’d meet online or in-person! Use common sense, decency & don’t be offensive. Talk to your matches in a respectful manner & respect diverse opinions – you may not understand everyone’s opinion but you should respect them.
Talk to people about their interests, what motivates them, what they are looking for on the app – are they here to make friends, a quick date, a long term partner. The more you know, the better your conversation. A dialogue works by means of two people communicating so make sure you’re answering their questions as well. No one likes giving information only to be ghosted when they ask questions as well.
As someone who cares about the safety aspect so deeply, what are the safety techniques that people should use before they meet people on a date?
Like I mentioned earlier, these considerations apply to any situation wherein you’re meeting someone new for the first time, regardless of how you met them first.
Meet people in public spaces such as a restaurant for the first time. It’s always better & safer to meet in such settings just in case something goes wrong. Tell at least one friend where you’ll be & with whom so that. Consent is always paramount & you have every right to leave if you feel pressured/uncomfortable.
We have all heard of horror stories that began from dating apps. So when these apps begin to pay heed to the needs of the customers, we end up with apps that are safe to use and give us exactly what we need. If apps begin to research and address the concerns, they would help in the actual widening of the LGBTQ+ pool.