Hoping to mirror Tinder’s huge popularity, other similar matchmaking apps have started to pop up aimed at catering to specific communities.
Minder was launched around Valentine’s Day this year and is “dedicated to helping connect progressive, smart, fun, and interesting Muslims with each other,” according to its website.
Rafael Gouveia, a first-year Food and Nutrition Management student at Humber College, doesn’t think many students will use the app.
“It’s not much different from anything else. I don’t think it’s (anything) new or exciting,” Gouveia said.
“There’s dating websites for any sort of religious groups or different types of people out there,” he said.
Gouveia said he wouldn’t use Minder and doesn’t see much value in similar apps like the hugely popular Tinder app.
He said users often make quick decisions based on seeing a person’s picture while swiping through the app.
“I have no idea what the person is like,” Gouveia said. “I’d much rather meet someone face-to-face.”
Taha Ali, a second-year Justice Studies student at the University of Guelph-Humber and President of Humber’s Muslim Students Association, also said he wouldn’t use Minder.
“I don’t know how well it will be accepted within the Muslim community, simply due to the fact that dating as a whole hasn’t really been accepted within the community yet,” Ali said.
Minder allows users to select how religious they are using a slider tool within the app.
“I think that’s a bit subjective, to be honest. I mean, how do you judge how religious you actually are?” Ali asked.
Ali said an Islamic value the app may compromise is responsibility.
“I think that the value of chivalry or the respect that’s always been there for relations between men and women, I feel that the app might kind of compromise that and take that outside of that realm,” Ali said.
Harsh Joshi, a third-year Computer Engineer Technology student at Humber, said he has created 69 apps and likes that Minder seems simple and secure, and that Minder can be used to connect Muslims.
“It’s connecting that religion to carry on with it, to carry on the idea, the values that their parents have taught them,” Joshi said.
“It is great. It’s simple to use and I love the idea of it,” he said.
Joshi said he would like to see Minder expand so users in countries where Facebook is banned can connect through the app via other social networks like Google Plus.
A similar service, Ishqr, already exists and is a website designed to connect young Muslims. However, unlike Minder, Ishqr doesn’t show users pictures of other people on the site until they match.
Currently Minder is only available on the Apple App Store with plans to become available on the Google Play store.