Glimpse: Can Instagram and Dating mix?

In my never ending quest to help you with dating, relationships, and sex, sometimes I get to test some new websites/apps so you don’t have to.

In this case, I downloaded the dating app Glimpse to see what it could offer my readers.

Let’s start with the basics:

To start an account, you first need to request an access code. I requested my access code in February and finally received a code in April. Take from that what you will.  You can also refer a friend for an access code. In my case, I referred a fellow sex/dating/relationship blogger.

After you’ve been given access, Glimpse syncs with your Instagram account in order to setup a new account. From this point, the account creation takes place. Account setup is simple enough. You fill in your name, age, gender, sexual orientation, location and then pick 10 pictures from your synced Instagram account to build your profile.

….And that’s it. I’ve joined quite a few dating sites and apps but that might have been one of the easiest setups I’ve ever experienced.

Once you’re setup, you’ll find that the searching interface is incredibly neat and in my opinion, one of the best interfaces I’ve ever seen in a dating app.


Similar apps like Hot or Not, Hinge, or Tinder also employ simple interfaces but for me, Glimpse really blows them out of the water. Hot or Not, Tinder, and Hinge all employ a swipe left or right (or click X or a heart icon) as a primary matching method. Simple and easy to do but I found that often times I was swiping left and right just to see the next user without ever really looking at their pictures or profiles.

The way that Glimpse differs from those other apps is that swiping left or right simply moves you to another person and is not a method to match. Swiping the “main picture” up brings up that user’s pictures which are the entire basis of their profile. In order to indicate your attraction to someone, you click a little smiley face icon below their profile picture. Something about the fact that I don’t have to click an X made the whole experience a little less negative to me.

If the name of your app is Hot or Not, rejection is inherently part of the process of your app. I don’t know about you but I kind of feel like crap if I spend an entire 30 minutes saying “OR NAH” to people’s pictures. The fact that I could skip people without giving them a big red X was pretty great feeling. I could also go back to these people and look at their pictures. With an app like Tinder, if you want to move on to the next person, you have to rate who you’re currently viewing. Once a person is rated, you’ll never be able to see them again which I think is a huge flaw in the app.


Glimpse embraces the voyeuristic nature of Instagram and uses it as a dating tool. It’s pretty ingenious really and I’m surprised that more dating apps aren’t using Instagram as part of their app setup. Most dating apps that compete with Glimpse sync with Facebook for easy profile setup which is also fairly easy but is limited by what you put into Facebook.

Remember that time in 2008 that you really liked Gavin Rossdale?

Facebook definitely does.

Syncing with Instagram instead of Facebook may limit the profile creation process but it also adds in the best part of Facebook: People’s pictures. You know what it doesn’t add in? People’s weird comments, years old likes, and the fact that they’re friends with someone from Middle school that they don’t really know that well.

The fact that Glimpse takes the best part of social media (voyeurism and quick consumption) and pairs it with dating is a great move. Find someone attractive? Like them! If you don’t, just move on.

Because the pictures make up the majority of the profile bear in mind that while it’s easy to setup, the profiles are very very sparse. Name, Age, Pictures and that’s it. When you run out of users nearby Glimpse will match you with users from outside of your search area.  If a user is not in your search area, you’ll see their location. (See below. No, I was not matched with Lena Headey or Jennifer Lawrence but I have to protect the innocent somehow)





So now, a quick wrap up of the Pros and Cons for the app.


1. Quick app setup. You can dive right into potential matches within 5 minutes.

2. Beautiful app interface. I cannot stress enough how appealing the app design is. Major kudos to the designer.

3. Simple profiles. Along with the quick setup comes a simple profile. Whether that’s a pro or con depends on the type of dater you are.


1. Profiles consist of only Instagram pictures. Filters are an online daters natural enemy.

2. Search functions are also limited. You’ve got to swipe until you find a match.

3. Matching is randomized and based on location and orientation. Other apps match you based on preferences or friends in common. Glimpse, not so much. But hey, that might be a pro in your book.

If you want to try a dating app that you can dive right into, that is easy to set up and use, Glimpse might be the right app for you.

If you’re someone who wants a more robust matching algorithm, e then Glimpse is definitely not your cup of tea.

Good luck out there.

Just a quick note. I cannot vouch for the actual quality of the people you’ll be matched with on the site. While I did my fair share of browsing but I didn’t attempt to match with any of the users (I’ve got a girlfriend after all). 

Your Thoughts?

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