A new application lets you spend time with your friends’ pets … without your friends.
A branch off of Tinder, Kibble connects humans with local pets that are looking to cuddle. A beta version of the Kibble app was released to select users last month.
The original Tinder is a dating application that allows users to upload profile pictures and a tagline. You can either “swipe right” and “like” a person’s profile, allowing further communication, or “swipe left” so that the user won’t be able to contact you. If both users swipe right, it’s a match, and the couple can then begin to flirt their way to a blossoming Tinder-lationship.
Kibble creator, Emilie Baker, says her app was created after realizing that the appearance of a pet in a Tinder profile picture significantly increased her willingness to “swipe right.”
At first, Baker only considered this a clever addition to anyone’s profile. She even posted a photo with her own pup and saw an increase in attractive matches. But after a few Tinder dates with men and their furry companions, she realized that she had been barking up the wrong tree.
“If I want to play with my date’s dog, why can’t I just ‘date’ the dog?” Baker said. Thus, Kibble was born.
So far, Kibble has been well-received, but there are still a few glitches to work out. Similar to the original application, Kibble sometimes has duplicate profiles or inaccurate location services.
Some users complain that profiles don’t have enough substance. They claim that profile pictures they have seen —including extreme sports action pictures, pictures including masks and photos of alcohol or drugs — do nothing to help them decide if they’d like to cuddle with the respective user.
One complaining student, Ryan Redding, showed us the profile of a black tabby. The tagline was, “Milk. Naps. Walking on fences. Just a fun guy, swipe right if you can handle me.” The cat’s profile pictures showed a bowl of cream, an artsy shot of his tail and a filter-heavy photo of a dead bird.
“I don’t know what pets are thinking when they make their profiles so freakin’ vague.” Redding complained. “I came here to cuddle and I’m not going to be shy about it … but I’m not swiping right unless I can see your whole face and snout.” He said he would continue to use Kibble if changes are made.
Kibble replied that they have no power over what users post.
Another user warns that despite its friendly intentions, Kibble may not be safe for kids. Due to the unregulated nature of the site, some photos are risqué and would make a more modest user blush. Developers mention that this is difficult to control, mostly due to the fact that dogs and cats have trouble with cameras since they lack opposable thumbs.
Student Mary Lewis said it troubles her that the app fails to recognize dog years when filtering matches by age. “If a dog’s profile says that they are 21, how do I know that doesn’t really mean three years old in human years?” Lewis said. “I’m not a cougar.”
A local dog replied that he overrides the age restriction feature on his profile, since to him age is just a number. “Ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff,” he said. “Ruff ruff ruff rrrrrruuuuf ruff … ruff.”
A full version of Kibble will be released next month.
Risa Weber hopes they phase out more of Kibble’s bugs ASAP … ain’t nobody wanna cuddle with a bug.