this gross app wants you to flirt with your coworkers

This is a very, very bad idea:

The dating app Feeld has introduced a Slack bot that connects mutually attracted coworkers … Here’s how it works: You tell the bot who you’re crushing on in your employer-sponsored Slack channel. Feeld promises to keep the information private unless said crush tells the bot that he or she is into you. If there’s a mutual crush, it notifies you both and then, well, trips to the water cooler get even more awkward. That or you fall madly in love and drive the rest of your coworkers nuts…

The company understands that this bot violates every tenet of workplace professionalism and, basically, doesn’t care. “We have predefined frameworks of love, work and how we should behave according to company guide books, religious beliefs or governmental bills,” the founders write. “All of us at Feeld question the norms and define our own more human, more real way of existing in the world.”

— “Dating App Lets You Flirt with Coworkers on Slack,” Vocativ

See, they’re just more human. You, with your interest in professional boundaries and your discomfort with having a company-wide program (that needs to be installed and approved by your company) to manage colleagues’ crushes and attractions, are not sufficiently real.

{ 246 comments… read them below }

  1. Naomi*

    Could be worse–it could be that Better Off Ted episode where the company published a list of genetically compatible coworkers and encouraged them to date.

  2. Folklorist*

    Could you imagine the lack of boundaries at the Feeld office, where they all believe in workplace romance? Yeeeshh, that’s a workplace-sanctioned Duck Club in the making!

    1. Observer*

      I’m more worried about sexual harassment. After all, what do you mean you don’t want a romantic relationship with ANYONE in the office?! What are you, a robot? No? Then PROVE IT! Give all the details of your romantic life, so we can decide if you have a genuine enough relationship to excuse you from the office hijinks.

      1. Chalupa Batman*

        Or, “What do you mean you don’t want to go out again? Slack said you were into me! [Insert nasty, most likely gender loaded slurs.]”

    2. Koko*

      I’m especially appalled that its name is a play on FEEL. I don’t need to be felt at work!!

      1. Optimistic Prime*

        I actually think it’s a play on field, as in “play the field.” Their description in the Google Play store seems to confirm that: “…A field for you to discover your sexuality and explore it by yourself, with your other half or with any human you’d like.”

    1. CoveredInBees*

      “They’re *disrupters*, man. You just don’t have the vision to get it.” or this was a prank that grew out of control. Either way, I want no part of it.

      1. The Milk Is Not User Friendly*

        Love your username! Eddie Izzard reference, by any chance?

  3. NW Mossy*

    If this app also comes with in-built drama management when the connections it initiates implode, perhaps. But until then? Nopey nope nope.

  4. A Nony Mouse*

    This is awesome. Just what I need! I’m late 40’s, bald and out of shape, but I can kinda feel the underlying attraction between me and my boss’ 26 year old Executive Assistant. I just know we would be great together! This app gives me a place to act on my feelings!

    1. Thinking Outside the Boss*

      Sounds like a love connection to me!

      Now how to tell my wife she needs to move out so Heidi Klum can move in because the bot said so!

    2. nofelix*

      Ostensibly if the assistant isn’t into you then that’s where it stops, but it sure feels like installing the bot is the company sanctioning your attraction.

      1. LKW*

        What’s important is that you’re recording the DBD. So you might have a DBD DB that you can then take to HR when this goes FUBAR.

  5. The Mighty Thor*

    So it’s Tinder for the workplace. Once you find that spark, you can send your career up in flames!

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        I’m envisioning that example from the bad layoff thread where the mail merge failed, so a bunch of [name here] got fired. They thought. It went out late on Friday, so no one could ask.

        Now they could all get matched for a workplace orgy right out of Sense8.

        1. Carpe Librarium*

          I think I missed that one; was it an open thread or one of Alison’s posts?

      1. Stephanie the Great*

        Only if they leave it burning for 15 minutes. Less than that, and it would be more like a medium job.

        /bad jokes, I have them.

    1. Zip Silver*

      I mean, you can easily make Tinder work in the workplace in the first place, just set the distance to 1 mile and start swiping away.

      1. Mints*

        I’ve seen coworkers on Tinder/Bumble and I swiped no and pretended it didn’t happen, and they had the courtesy to ignore it too assuming they saw me. Hypothetically we never saw each other. That’s the beauty of those apps, plausible deniability. You don’t need work IT admins to add it on (!!)

    2. NotAnotherManager!*

      OMG, dying laughing.

      Yes, this is a TERRIBLE idea. Has no one every heard the expression, “Don’t shit where you eat!”?

      1. Project Manager*

        It wasn’t until fairly recently that I learned that saying had anything to do with the workplace. I thought it had a more general meaning, that one should be careful how one’s activities interact. Would never in fifty million years have guessed that the actual meaning was so weirdly specific. (I prefer “Don’t dip your pen in the company ink” myself.)

        1. vpc*

          Don’t shop in the company store.

          I had a creeper (many years ago now) who did not understand that phrase. He would love this app, and that’s precisely why it should never be implemented in a sane workplace.

        2. EmKay*

          My mother uses the much classier “don’t f*ck payroll”. And my mother does not use the f word lightly.

  6. CaliCali*

    Isn’t the “more human, more real way of existing in the world” to just…flirt in person?

  7. HeatherT*

    I don’t know. As someone who met their spouse at work, this type of bot doesn’t bother me. Heck, if this app had existed when we first met, it would have shaved 6 months of awkwardness off of our relationship because neither one of us wanted to ask the other out in case we were misreading signals. Depending on how it works, it seems like a much more discreet way to handling mutual attraction than publicly flirting or trying to gauge interest by clumsily mentioning weekend plans, etc.

    In fact, one could argue this would be a way to decrease unwarranted interest because, if an app like this became the norm, interest would be unambiguous. Various surveys place finding romance in the office as pretty common and it’s not likely to go away with or without technological assistance.

    I, for one, like the idea.

    1. LBK*

      I somehow doubt that not being matched on the bot is going to dissuade people from wondering if the person they like likes them back. Purposely ignoring signals/hints that someone isn’t interested is a time-honored tradition of the lovestruck.

    2. CaliCali*

      I met my spouse at work too (and had dated a couple of coworkers prior — it was a very large company, so these weren’t my day-to-day officemates). So I don’t really have an issue with people meeting other people at the workplace. But I think the whole clumsy flirting and awkwardness is part of navigating things respectfully in a professional context. You want to move it to the next level? Take it out of that context. Or just look for them on Tinder.

      1. Jadelyn*

        This, so much. I’m in a Thing with a colleague right now, and we clumsily flirted for literally 2 years before it happened a couple months ago. You know what got it to happen finally? My coworker moved away and transferred to one of our other branches. Now that we don’t have to see each other every day and pretend like things are normal as always, it allowed us to act on the attraction between us. The everyday awkwardness was a boundary we both felt the need to keep in place, and the two years of negotiating a professional relationship around a budding personal relationship were honestly critical to our being able to continue to be professional when we’re on the clock and keeping that separation between what we say and do at work and what we say and do after hours.

    3. CM*

      See, I think that 6 months of awkwardness serves a purpose. Workplace romance that springs up organically is fine, but encouraging people to casually date coworkers? Do you really want a workplace where half the people are exes of each other?

      1. Brogrammer*

        I get the impression that the creators of this app set out to solve the “6 months of awkwardness” because they saw it as a bug and didn’t consider that it might be a feature.

          1. GermanGirl*

            Me too.

            Also, as someone who met their spouse on the job, such an app wouldn’t have fixed the bug for us, because I had totally overlooked him until he asked me out so I’d never have thought to put his name in the app. And maybe the stupid app would have discouraged him (since it would have said I wasn’t interested) and so introduced a whole new bug into the system.

            Good thing this crappy app wasn’t around 10 years ago.

      2. Alton*

        I think that’s a good point. When you take your time and are cautious, you might have more time to figure out if this is someone who really seems worth it. A casual Tinder-like approach might make people more inclined to express an interest in any cute person they happen to notice.

        Taking your time isn’t foolproof; the worst date of my life was with a guy I’d been friends with and had had a crush on for a couple years, though in retrospect I should have seen the signs. But I’ve had a lot more instances where I noticed someone attractive who seemed cool, but after spending a few months getting to know them I realized I wasn’t into them that much, after all.

    4. Amy*

      To me the problem with dating at work isn’t managing whether people are interested at first. It’s managing the fallout if things don’t go perfectly.

      So: if A and B both like each other, start dating, can be professional while working with their partner, and stay together, great! That can work out well. But if A likes B and B doesn’t like A, then that can get dramatic depending on how adult A is about handling rejection (and some people are truly terrible at handling this, whether their object of interest outright rejects them or just doesn’t respond to their advances). If A and B do like each other, and date for a while, and then break up, that can be a problem too. Either way, the bot does nothing to manage any of that fallout.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        That’s the bot we need–one that races around the office soothing any incipient drama.

        Probably it should look like R2D2 with a basketful of free bagels on top.

        1. SideshowStarlet*

          But how would we make sure the bagels reach the heartbroken employee? I can see a whole new drama starting over That One Coworker who takes the tasty treats for themselves and hurries off.

        2. Boop*

          I have a major thing for R2D2 so I am DOWN. But can we have brownies instead of bagels?

    5. Nolan*

      I’m another person who met their partner at work, but we didn’t actually start dating until I moved to a different state. We weren’t even working in the same location when I moved, but I don’t think we’d have gotten together if I had stayed in the area. I’d never been a coworker dater, and didn’t want to be one, so I didn’t even consider if we were attracted to each other until there was no chance of us working together. I can’t imagine working somewhere that allowed an app like this. Boundaries are good!

    6. Ask a Manager* Post author

      The issue isn’t dating at work. It’s having your company specifically set something up to encourage it and making a bigger deal of it, which is kind of gross.

      1. Wintermute*

        THAT is the real kicker, I feel like a lot of the commenters here don’t realize that Slack addons have to be installed by the administrator of the software (you might want to point that out in the post, honestly)

        This isn’t something two employees (or most likely one very creepy employee) can download and do. Your work’s IT would most likely have to configure and install it.

          1. bryeny*

            Thanks for making that clear. But this business model boggles the mind. How many companies are going to install this? I predict that Feeld will either fail or change its business model in short order.

            1. Geoffrey B*

              Speaking of “change business model”: a few years back, somebody implemented this exact same idea with LiveJournal accounts. A few months later they announced that for a small payment you could now find out everybody who’d listed you, regardless of whether you’d listed them.

              And that is when some folk learned that the original privacy guarantees weren’t practically enforceable.

              1. Zombii*

                o_o This is the thing that was twisting in my subconscious that I couldn’t identify!

                Storytime. Back in high school someone got this idea to do a matchmaking survey of all the students (gross). It was voluntary and free for everyone to fill out the survey and anyone with a high enough match would get results naming each other, so most people did it (out of random curiosity?). So then the results came out—and like a week later some brilliant person on the fundraising committee realized they could sell full percentage match lists to anyone who wanted them for $5. The whole rest of the year was awkward creepers walking up like “We had a 60% match on the survey, we should do something about that.” Aaand the school refused to do anything because “the survey was voluntary.” I do not miss the late 90’s.

                1. Chomps*

                  @Zombii- My high school did this too! It was so ridiculous. But I always did it. Although they never gave us our full match list. Just the top 5 I think.

                2. Starbuck*

                  My school did this, and I was part of the group of students that complained that it didn’t accommodate same-gender pairings. Since they were just barely progressive enough to realize why this was unacceptably discriminatory, but not actually progressive enough to endorse and facilitate same-gender pairings, the survey was not done again next year.

            2. kmb213*

              This is just one thing that Feeld offers. They were actually originally Thrinder, known colloquially as “Tinder for Threesomes,” but had to change their name. Yes, it is odd that I know that. I, too, imagine that this specific service will fail pretty quickly.

            3. Optimistic Prime*

              This isn’t their only product…they have a regular swipe left/right app in the Google Play store (and presumably, iOS). The distinguishing feature seems to be that they focus on people interested in kink, which adds a whole other layer of interesting to this.

        1. AwkwardKaterpillar*

          I can just imagine discussing this with IT.

          I know you block facebook, twitter, and any social media related sites, but I really think we need to make an exception for a workplace dating app. Nothing could possibly go wrong with this.

        2. One of the Sarahs*

          I can’t get past the fact the admins have to approve it – and just imagine the team meetings when they explain the new feature they’ve added (THE HORROR)

      2. Jesmlet*

        Yeah I didn’t catch this the first time I read it. Gross. It’s one thing to condone coworkers dating, it’s an entirely other disgusting thing to encourage it.

    7. Amber T*

      I think it’s one thing if you meet someone at work and have genuine connection to them. I myself am a product of a successful work place romance. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with meeting anyone in a specific place. But this app doesn’t sound like it’s for that, it’s more of “I think so-and-so in accounting is hot, let’s see if they’d do me.”

    8. neverjaunty*

      These sorts of comments spring whenever there’s a discussion of inappropriate workplace behavior. Really, “I met my spouse because of X!” doesn’t prove that X is a good idea, workplace-appropriate, or something a company should encourage through the use of a crappy Slack add-on.

      1. Liane*

        Gere’s and Roberts’ characters live happily ever after Pretty Woman. Does that mean a company should condone, or even arrange for, its c-suite to have paid escorts?

    9. Spek*

      For every story about how it worked out there is another one like the post last week from the woman who had a one nighter with a married coworker, had his baby, is still dealing with the fallout …
      Two lives derailed, a seriously pissed off, vengeful spouse, not to mention how it will all impact the innocent baby. I don’t even socialize with work people.

      1. Reposte*

        Surely there’s a difference between two single people meeting at work, and an employee having an affair with a married co-worker?

        1. Gen*

          True but there’s single and then there’s “single”. There’s been a letter here recently from a manager wanting to know how best to tell an employee that their office love interest is married, and I’ve worked with people in the past who’ve turned out to be in long term relationships while stringing others along with varying degrees of success. As mentioned above this app has to be approved by the company to get on the system, are they going to police who takes part or make people declare their marital status? “Beep you have tried to match with John, John is married, please try again later”

  8. Stephanie the Great*

    Considering I refuse to connect with coworkers on any and all social media outside of LinkedIn, this one gets a big ol/ NOPETOPUS from me.

    1. Mike C.*

      Yeah, but this isn’t social media in the normal sense of the word – this is an in house chat like Lync.

      1. Stephanie the Great*

        … Yes. I am aware of that, no need to explain it to me.

        My point was, if I am not going to engage them out in the real world, I sure as hell am not going to engage them in the workplace.

          1. Optimistic Prime*

            This is the moment where I admit I hate Slack. One of my teams uses it. It moves too quickly and people are always cluttering up the channels with weird non-work-related stuff and I am never quite sure what’s going on. Then people will ask me if I saw something relatively important. “Oh, it was in the Slack.”

        1. Mike C.*

          Yeah, that’s my point. I think this is horrible, and turns an ordinary office tool into a meat market.

  9. Lady Phoenix*

    When most workplaces see this, I bet the heads will roll on whoever is desperate enough to try this bs.

  10. LBK*

    I mean, I guess the good news is it’s opt-in, so the people who would have any interest in using this would only be those who presumably don’t have a problem dating a coworker…but that doesn’t make it any less of a bad idea to do so.

  11. Elizabeth*

    There was an awesome Washington Post article a while ago, about the technology reporter who installed this (at the request of the app maker in the course of writing about the maker & the app) and it automatically installed itself on all the other devices in the team that had Slack on the device (which was pretty much everyone). The reporter could tell because the entire office started freaking out. They had to do major damage control.

    1. Michaela*

      Okay, that’s even worse. It’s not only a poorly-conceived bot, whatever, those are a dime a dozen, it’s a bot that installs itself without consent. Excuse me, I’ll be over in the corner screaming.

      1. Stephanie the Great*

        The irony of a dating bot installing itself without consent is rather poetic, in a really distasteful kind of way.

        1. Aunt Margie at Work*

          that’s gruesome when you spell it out like that. Just beyond rotten.

          1. Lance*

            Wow. That… is not a thing I’d want on a workplace computer. ‘Least of all put there automatically… that’s workplace-disaster material, easily.

            1. Lady Phoenix*

              I would have spit take.. but I had nothing.

              I am laughing and shuddering, laushudphibg? Hilarious and horrifying. Thank god I don’t have to deal with slack

      2. not really a lurker anymore*

        The IT staff will also be in the corner screaming. Also checking on how to reconfigure the Firewalls to keep this out…

        1. Lance*

          Considering, as mentioned above, they’d have to be the ones to install it… I’d feel very, very bad for them having to do damage control after likely being pressed by higher-ups to install it (because I can’t imagine any decent IT in their right mind installing something like this onto the company-wide server)

        2. Zombii*

          But isn’t it like a top-level install to the program? Everyone has to have it or no one does? So someone with top-level access had to install it in the first place? (It sounds like the Post reporter didn’t understand what they were doing/didn’t understand it worked like that.)

          Note: I don’t know IT, please correct my terminology if it’s way off.

    2. Observer*

      That explains why Slack took it off their directory.

      I imagine it doesn’t help that Feeld started life as a Tinder takeoff designed for three-somes. They changed the name after threats of a lawsuit by Tinder. But the issue of it installing itself by itself probably went over the top. Their CEO, though, claims that he can’t understand why Slack has an issue, since they haven’t broken a single rule.

    3. Misc*

      I had to go look it up. This quote is gold.

      “Feeld’s founder, Dimo Trifonov. Trifonov admits that his bot probably won’t fit the culture of large corporations like The Washington Post. “You just made a small revolution inside the company,” he said when I told him about the chaos that his bot was wreaking on the newsroom. Rather, he sees it working better in start-ups or “zero-hierarchy companies,” where presumably there are less likely to be sexual harassment complaints. “

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        Oh, does he mean like Uber? That sounds like a great place to work as a woman.

        I love how he says sexual harassment complaints, not actual sexual harassment.

        1. Aunt Margie at Work*

          I read the quote and was about to type the same comment as you. “Complaints” exactly. Jerk.

        2. Hiring Mgr*

          To be fair, the complaint part was NOT from the guy’s quote..that was the article writer..

      2. LawBee*

        and a much smaller dating pool. This whole thing is gross. Even the name is gross.

        1. Zombii*

          This would actually be really good at the call center where I used to work, if it also had STI disclosures built in. I heard from a few people that chlamydia was going around. But it’s okay guys! it’s not a big deal because “if you already have it, you can’t get it.”

          That place was disgusting. (PS–I didn’t get chlamydia (TMI?).)

      3. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

        ‘Much less likely to be sexual harassment complaints’ is not the same thing as ‘much less likely to be sexual harassment.’ I think he said more than he intended to with that line.

      4. Amy*

        Ah, yes. A product that works better in environments where sexual harassment doesn’t get reported. A ‘revolution’ that makes it easier to harass your coworkers. That’s exactly what the world needs.

      5. Lora*


        Nooooooo…Dimo, it’s not that there isn’t sexual harassment at startups or flat organizations, it’s that the pockets aren’t deep enough to make a lawsuit worth the expense. Y’all are still being gross and creepy, it’s just harder to sue for it. Which is NOT BETTER. It is in fact WORSE because there’s no recourse.

        And folks got the nerve to wonder why there are so few women in tech. Your Honor, I’d like to submit Exhibit A, Dimo Trifonov.

        $5 says when the women in the companies who adopt this have a mass exodus, the bros actually wonder why. “NewGuy, we have this app for Slack where it’s supposed to hook you up with hot women, but, I dunno, there’s like no women here so it’s kinda pointless haha.”

      6. NLMC*

        I feel if your app is better suited for a company that is less likely to have sexual harassment complaints you should know it’s gross. I mean they might not care that it is gross, but it makes my stomach turn just thinking about that rationale.

    4. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      I loved this article! I also loved that Slack blocked the bot right quick. I would, too, if I were Slack. This bot is so dumb on so many levels.

  12. Jessesgirl72*

    It would be bad enough if it were merely a company making money from the consumers- but each channel is sponsored by the company.

    Any company who paid for this in their office deserves the chaos and lawsuits that will happen!

    Workplace romances happen- it’s natural when you spend so much time at work, and I don’t think they need to be banned outright like some offices do. But given the issues with them, the very last thing that we need is to make them easier! The fact that you have to get up the nerve to approach a coworker is a good and natural pause!

  13. Raven*

    1. Imagine if this had come out when The Office was still running. Oh, the possibilities…

    2. Their logo looks like a three-stage diagram of an erection rising.

    3. The fact that they keep emphasizing the humanness of their product is unsettling, in the same way that MLMs always have a prepared defense about how their company isn’t a pyramid scheme.

    1. Falling Diphthong*

      That logo… “Have you ever looked at a paper clip? I mean, really looked at a paper clip?”

      1. Miss Elaine E.*

        I’m watching Season Two of the Office now. (Did see it during its original run sadly enough.) I can’t imagine what the characters would have done with this, particularly Michael and Dwight. Come to think of it, Jim and Pam would have played a lot of nasty games with it too, wouldn’t they?

    2. Liane*

      #2: that’s what it is, per the Slate page someone linked above! I just popped back here to point that out.

      Can anyone point me to a Brain-Bleach App?

    3. Sofie*

      The fact that they keep emphasizing the humanness of their product is unsettling

      Yeah, I’m starting to get a “How do you do, fellow kids humans?” vibe, here. o_O

  14. SCAnonibrarian*

    There needs to be a way to set an “out of office” type message to auto-respond to anyone signing up and trying to ‘match’ with people who think this is a bad idea:

    “I received your notification and this is wildly unprofessional and also trying way too hard to be cool. Your unironic use of this sadly misguided app in order to become closer to me personally indicates that we are unlikely to share professional values and standards of behavior, and therefore your idealized image of me is grossly in error, and we are not compatible as dating prospects.
    Professionally Yours, Anonymous Officemate

    1. weeloo*

      You will never see anything from someone you haven’t also indicated interest in. I think a lot of people are commenting who don’t know how Tinder and other mutual match apps work.

        1. weeloo*

          You can be annoyed at it’s existence, I guess? I am having a hard time being mad about something where only people who both like each other are receiving any notifications….

          1. Falling Diphthong*

            There’s the part where it laughs maniacally as it swoops through the office, installing itself on everything while the IT department weeps.

          2. Observer*

            No, the problem is that you have to trust it – and it’s shown that it cannot be trusted. Also, how is it appropriate for a company to install something like this?

      1. Bryce*

        Which means you get the creepy guy wandering by and “casually” asking if you know about the new thing.

  15. LAP*

    The founders’ philosophy had me rolling my eyes, but I guess I don’t see the issue with the app itself. Two people who like each other at work could create plenty of drama without having a digital medium to facilitate it and it sounds like it doesn’t allow you to harass someone who doesn’t like you.

    1. Mazzy*

      I don’t think it’s a bad app but it has one flaw – it is assuming both parties are telling the truth about their crush before it sends both the “their interested” message. What if one party only did it out of curiosity or a joke or to bully the other person?

      1. Raven*

        Very good point. One of my friends swipes right on everyone she knows on our very small, tightly-knit campus, *just* because she knows them, so it’s a ‘hey friend!’ kind of thing rather than an actual attraction thing… which has led to at least one misunderstanding with one of our mutual friends who liked her and meant it.

        1. Lalaith*

          Yeah. Back when I was in college (pre-smartphone days), a bunch of my friends and I were playing around with one of those dating/see-how-much-you-match-with-people sites (it may have been OKC). It had an option of saying that you had a crush on someone – only unlike this app, it would send a message to the person saying “someone has a crush on you!”, and not telling them who unless they returned the crush. I did this to one of my friends, who then proceeded to send crush messages to *everyone* in order to figure out who sent the original message. Awkwaaaarrrrrrrd. (I think I tried to play it off like I had sent my message in response to his instead of sending mine first, but I’m not sure how much he believed me).

    2. Natalie*

      Eh, it’s not really necessary, though. All the big dating sites/apps have proximity based matching now, so if you want to know if the guy on the third floor is available and interested you can just open Tinder/OKC/Plenty of Fish, swipe, and see what happens.

      1. Mints*

        Yeah I don’t have a problem with Tinder but these guys saw Tinder and thought “Do you know what would make this better? If the entire pool was your coworkers!”

        1. Zombii*

          It’s funny because it’s true! :(

          I used to work with someone like that. She would say “Time to hunt.” and I would say “No. You’re not allowed to hunt at work.” and she would be like “Awww.” (That was our joke/not really a joke.)

    3. paul*

      That doesn’t mean an app encouraging a mistake people could other wise make is a good thing

    4. Geoffrey B*

      Even assuming that it works as advertised with no scope for privacy breaches etc… the issue here is not so much the behaviours it makes *possible* as the behaviours it *encourages*.

  16. Stephanie*

    Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. I used to work in an overwhelmingly male environment where all the women pretty much had a sexual harassment story (myself included). (TPTB didn’t care and were overwhelmingly like “Eh. Toughen up.”) This app would make that so much worse.

  17. Interviewer*

    “All of us at Feeld question the norms and define our own more human, more real way of existing in the world.”

    I’m going to bet Feeld gets new HR Directors every – what’s the under? 3 months? Yeah, I’ll take that action.

    1. Jadelyn*

      I’d actually bet they just don’t have one. Besides, we all know HR people aren’t really human and don’t really exist in the world, rather, we exist in a pocket dimension with the other monsters that hide under one’s bed.

      (I am an HR person, for the record – I am poking fun at myself and my colleagues.)

    2. Zombii*

      Anyone else having flashbacks to the inane Facebook diatribes about “Not hiding your authentic self” because using the eff-word in a conversation with your friends if you’d never say that to your mom/teacher/boss means you’re “not being authentic”? (Tl;dr: then they implemented filters because obviously.)

      1. Jadelyn*

        Ugh, yes. The conflation of “authentic” with “no filter” and complete misunderstanding of the basic concept of code-switching and social levels. Drives me up a freaking wall!

  18. LSP*

    I feel like this will give creepers a new way to creep.

    Telling someone you like them can be awkward, even more so if you work together, but humans, even co-workers, have survived with that awkwardness this long into human history. I think we can survive it.

    Hell, although not co-workers, my husband and I were friends before we dated, and he came right out and told me he wasn’t interested in dating me at one point. We were still friends, but when I started noticing some changes in his attitude just a few months later, I risked our friendship, and all the awkwardness that would entail, to call him on it. It turns out he was head over heels and we were married less than three years later.

  19. weeloo*

    Aside from the story above about the app installing itself throughout the office, which is sketch, I don’t see how this is ‘gross.’ Despite ‘best’ intentions, significant numbers of people still meet their spouses at work. From what I understand, this is exactly like Bumble or Tinder where no one will know anything unless both sides indicate interest.

    1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

      Because no one really wants their employer monitoring who has crushes on whom. Remember, this would be on your work system and the employer would have the capability of seeing everything. Not that I can see many employers allowing it to be installed since it would be a distraction and potential drama source

      1. Anon Y. Mouse*

        It suddenly occurred to me that if there was some kind of “love rivalry” situation going on, and one of the people involved had access to the info on who liked each other, this could get pretty horrible. Or if you had one of those people who never learned the lesson “don’t ship IRL people” in your office. (OK, if you have one of those people then you’re probably going to have to deal with some nonsense anyway, but this sounds like it would enable/encourage them.)

        If everyone was a mature adult about this then it might be fine (mainly because I imagine mature adults would probably ignore/delete this particular weirdness) but that’s not going to happen.

    2. Not a Real Giraffe*

      For me, the grossness stems from being solely reduced to a pool of my colleagues, whereas on Bumble or Tinder, it’s conceivable that I’d match with someone I worked with based on proximity and my search radius. So, the pool is super limited to start with, and if it’s not a mutual match, the other person is likely to know it’s because you passed on them versus just not yet coming across their profile. It feels icky to me in a way that say, setting my radius to 1 mile and hoping my cute coworker might pop up on Tinder doesn’t. (Not that I’m advocating that, either!)

    3. Student*

      There’s always an angle. Ask yourself how they are making money. If you don’t have to pay for the service, then YOU are the product.

      With all of these “services”, there is ALWAYS someone who knows everything – there’s an IT person(s), perhaps locally, perhaps at the skivvy company, likely both – who can access all of that info and mine it for whatever they want.

    4. Falling Diphthong*

      You install those apps on your own electronics at your own risk.

      IT departments are never enthused about “fun” apps that people can download and install on the networked work computers. Even when those apps are “totally free” it says so in the big print.

    5. BadPlanning*

      Fergus adds Nancy.
      Fergus eagerly checks if Nancy is a match.
      Checks daily.
      Checks twice a day.
      Fergus asks Nancy if she’s updated slack.
      Fergus asks Nancy if she’s checkout all the slack apps.
      Fergus obsessively checks app.
      Fergus gets angry with Nancy.

      1. k*

        This was my thought. Worst case, this turns into a serious harassment issue. Best case, Fergus has hurt feelings over being rejected and there is now added awkwardness in the workplace.

  20. Brett*

    They put this on Slack?
    They put this on Slack??!!!

    Where it is used within businesses, Slack is almost always an official communication channel (with logging). Such an awful, awful idea.

    1. Fictional Butt*

      Right?!? That’s what I was thinking. Do you really want someone to have a written record of every coworker you’re into?!?

      1. Optimistic Prime*

        ““I could not see how it violates any of their rules,” Trifonov [their founder] said. And he’s sticking to his guns as a supporter of workplace romances: “I work with my partner and from time to time we hug, kiss, and cuddle in working hours, and we thought that in 99.99 percent of companies such behavior is simply impossible. At the same time it felt so recharging, and actually impacted our productivity in a positive way. We felt so sad that people cannot see the workplace the same way we do.”

        …you know, this actually explains a whole lot about this company.

    2. Raven*

      In my experience of workplaces that used Slack, it’s always been something that the higher-ups themselves *also* participated in on a regular basis, which ups the creepiness, in this case.

    3. Sparky*

      LinkedIn floated the idea of also being a dating app and the negative response caused them to drop that idea quickly. This doesn’t seem any better. Can’t we all just go to work and do our jobs without this crap which has way too many negative implications for it’s use?

  21. Tommy Fresh*

    I can’t wait for creepy dudes to “like” a bunch of their co-workers and then write in to AAM wondering why none of the women have “liked” them back

    1. Fictional Butt*

      Or just “like” every woman in the office and see who responds. I think that’s how a lot of people use Tinder.

      1. writelhd*

        cynical me adds, also in a whole lot of online dating sites, Craigslist adds, and perhaps the larger internet in general.

      2. SystemsLady*

        I could see somebody doing this solely to generate drama and mock anybody who likes them, too. Ugh.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      I’m sure what every corporate IT department dreams of is a bunch of people calling them because the dating app the caller installed on the company system isn’t returning any matches.

      1. Tommy Fresh*

        That’s kind of what I’m picturing – a bunch of dudes try this, all the women recognize it as a creep show and stay away, and then the dudes complain that the app is “broken” because they got together and realized none of them had had any matches.

        1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

          I’m only one data point, but I definitely wouldn’t use it, even if there was a chance that the hot guy in accounting would match with me. I’m not so hard up for dates that I need the headache of actively seeking them at work.

  22. gmg*

    This is the kind of thing one presents as counter-evidence next time some Silicon Valley honcho declares that his (yes, almost always his) industry deserves extra special treatment because its denizens are building WORLD! CHANGING! INNOVATIONS!

    1. Evan Þ*

      Some innovations from Silicon Valley are bad.

      Some are good.

      How many are which, and how will whatever sort of special treatment change that? That’s where we need to do research and not stop at one or two examples.

      1. SystemsLady*

        It certainly doesn’t deserve the hundreds of millions of dollars investors already blindly pour into it without any research, and there are probably over a hundred examples now of why.

        (Startup culture in general, something that came from Silicon Valley, is already a well-documented problem at that)

  23. Fictional Butt*

    I wonder how long the app stores information for. Like, if I have a big crush on Juliet from Finance and I tell the bot I like her, and then 2 years later I’m totally over it but she tells the bot she likes me, are we gonna get matched? That sounds awwwkward.

    1. Morning Glory*

      My worry would be: if you have a crush on the new employee and tell Feeld.

      And then they into a mega sexual-harassing creep. But when you complain the HR, the employee waves the Feeld mutual match notification around saying how could it be sexual harassment when you gave them the green light?

  24. AMPG*

    So this was actually the basis of a college project of a friend of mine 20 years ago (back when the magma of the internet was still cooling into its current form). You logged on to a website to see a list of students, and could pick a certain number. If one of the people you picked also picked you, you’d both get an email, otherwise it kept the lists secret. It was only open for a certain amount of time at the end of the year. I believe in later years it was rebooted as an app.

  25. Laura*

    What about the person that hasn’t grown up since high school? I could see someone saying they liked everyone and then teasing/bullying someone who liked them back.

    1. Spidery*

      I thought about this too! I can definitely imagine this app being used for such evil.

      1. Raven*

        Ooh, I hadn’t even thought about that… what if the “Fergus likes Nancy” situation from elsewhere in this thread happens but Fergus asks Nancy why none of the guys have matched with het yet? And Nancy has to avoid telling him that she’s matched with several *women…*

  26. Eliza Jane*

    That clattering sound there was my skeleton literally leaping from my body to run away and hide. Groooooooooss.

  27. No Crying in Baseball*

    Your information and any inclinations would be private, and no one would/could ever hack it, right?

    1. Falling Diphthong*

      Picturing all the panicked calls to corporate IT because people accidentally swiped the wrong way…

      1. Mallory Janis Ian*

        Haha. Because that’s what IT wants to deal with all day. “Help! I accidentally swiped the wrong way and now Fergus will think I’m hitting on him.”

      2. KellyK*

        Yep. Even if everyone is perfectly mature (which they’re probably not) and your list of crushes is perfectly secure (which it’s probably not) and the company doesn’t sneakily change its privacy terms, it’s easy to click the wrong thing or swipe the wrong way. If I recall correctly, there was a letter here where someone accidentally swiped right on their boss and was wondering how to handle the embarrassment and potential drama.

  28. Girasol*

    It might reduce office romance. One employee has a crush. Rather than feeling up another employee behind the watercooler, s/he uses Feeld. Other employee never responds. Well, that’s the end of that with no watercooler hanky panky. What are the odds that two people who actually do both have crushes on each other are both using the app?

    1. Raven*

      “One employee has a crush. Rather than feeling up another employee behind the watercooler, s/he uses Feeld. Other employee never responds. Well, that’s the end of that…”

      That’s a very optimistic way of looking at it, though. I think the earlier comment that starts with “Fergus likes Nancy” would be how it would go down in a lot of places. I say that with a few guys in mind who would fit that description.

    2. Zombii*

      I seriously doubt that someone whose thought process goes from “have a crush on X” to “feel X up behind the water cooler” would be dissuaded by not matching with X on a workplace dating app.

  29. Lillian Styx*

    But how do I flirt with the guy in the building next door who I can see through the window but never looks over???

    1. Detective Amy Santiago*

      Send him take out with a note that says to look up at the window. When he looks, flash him :D

  30. LCL*

    Well, I don’t know. How smart is the app? Are we allowed to choose, say, nothing meaningful just want some strange?/s

  31. Undine*

    Does Feeld have an extension that connects you to a database of lawyers ready to defend sexual harassment cases?

  32. Not a Real Giraffe*

    I did not read any of the linked articles, so apologies if this has been addressed: but do you fill out a dating profile for Feeld the same way you would for Tinder? Because there is a guy who works on my floor that I can never look at the same way again, after having come across his Tinder profile (I swiped left).

  33. writelhd*

    Kind of reminds me of middle school, when the thing was to tell a friend that you “Like” So and So and have that friend tell So and So and ask if he/she Likes you back, because doing so yourself would be unthinkably embarrassing.

    1. Mallory Janis Ian*

      In elementary school, we would send a friend bearing a hand-written form letter:

      I like you. Do you like me?
      __ Yes ___ No

    2. KellyK*

      Also college, if you’re both socially awkward. Not that that’s how my husband and I got together or anything.

  34. Magenta Sky*

    Two questions come immediately to mind:

    First, can companies ban this on personal phones? Probably not (and no way to enforce it if they could).

    Second, do they have massive amounts of insurance for when they get hacked, and the entire database is leaked to Wikileaks? I’ll be very surprised if they don’t need it. Soon.

    1. Observer*

      Maybe they are like Ashley “It could NEVER happen to us” Madison. It’s clear that they don’t have the faintest idea of boundaries or security in their “more authentic” fantasy land. They also don’t show too much integrity. Why in heavens name would you trust them with anything?

  35. Raven*

    I just thought of a rom-com based on this:

    When pretty college graduate Lizzie gets her first job as an underpaid intern at BizCorp, she thinks she’s in for more trouble than it’s worth. Her coworkers are snobby, she always screws up the coffee order, and, worst of all, her married middle-aged boss just “liked” her on the company’s office romance app! But when Lizzie reports the situation to hunky HR rep Paul, a blossoming friendship teaches her that sometimes… love can level the playing feel’d.

    CONNECTION, coming to theatres this Christmas.

    1. Optimistic Prime*

      I can already see Lizzie, dressed in a tailored shirt and skirt that costs more than her entire month’s paycheck at BizCorp, accidentally spilling coffee all over herself as her Mean Girl coworkers (also perfectly coiffed) titter behind their palms! (Because she’s clumsy, of course.) I imagine her played by Hilary Duff, maybe. Probably because Hilary Duff played Lizzie McGuire, but still, role is perf for her type.

  36. fishy*

    Why do I have a feeling that my company would totally install this if they used Slack… they’ve already made one too many comments about how lovely “budding romance” and “secret admirers” in the workplace are for comfort.

  37. Thinking Outside the Boss*

    Since I’m not a member, how does this work? If Fergus adds his work crush, does the app only send a notice to a coworker who has the app or does the app spam the coworker’s work email with the equivalent of, “hey, an employee wants to link with you.”

    Because if it’s the second one, I imagine every HR manager and EEOC contact is stocking up on aspirin and cold compresses. This is a nightmare for everyone!

    1. beanie beans*

      My impression from not clicking any links but only reading the post and the responses are that everyone has the app installed automatically and you only get a notification if you BOTH add each other. That if one person says “Hey I have a crush on you” and they don’t respond back, nothing happens.

      But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a nightmare anyway.

  38. Detective Rosa Diaz*

    Just FYI Feeld is an existing app – it used to be called Thrinder before. It’s essentially Tinder for people into threesomes/polyamory/kink/very casual sex.

    This is a weird partnership for Slack and could damage their brand a lot. Feeld has nothing to lose or less to lose because now more people might download the regular version of the app.

    1. Observer*

      It’s not a partnership. Anyone can create whatever bots.

      And, Slack HAS delisted them. Feeld doesn’t understand why…

      1. Detective Rosa Diaz*

        Oh that’s interesting! That was the thing that confused me the most so that makes more sense. Thank you!

  39. Jerry Vandesic*

    Isn’t the app world amazing! Can’t wait until some startup creates an app that lets you rent out your office to co-workers looking for a mid-day tryst. Sort of like Airbnb in the office. Probably already patented.

      1. Jerry Vandesic*

        That’s yet another app. Tinder for the office. Swipe right for Joe in Accounting.

  40. Junior Dev*

    I just had to explain to a male friend today why the female classmate who was uncomfortable with him discussing sex in their vocational training course wasn’t being “too sensitive.” Fortunately he was pretty decent about listening to me, but it irritated me that I would even have to explain it.


  41. Sofie*

    “We have predefined frameworks of love, work and how we should behave according to company guide books, religious beliefs or governmental bills,” the founders write.

    I love how all of these are external factors. Apparently it hasn’t even occurred to these people that some of us prefer not to date where we work for reasons like “Potential for drama: WAY too fucking high.” (I’ve seen the fallout of workplace romances, and Sweet Hoppity Jesus is it just not worth it to me.)

    “All of us at Feeld question the norms and define our own more human, more real way of existing in the world.”

    … So apparently my desire to avoid the potential drama of office romances makes me less human, now?

    Also, using an app to express interest is “more human” than just talking to the person you’re interested in. Riiiiiiight.

  42. Valentine's Mixer OP*

    OP from the letter about the weird workplace singles mixer for Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been so happy that my company has not come into the 21st century and started using Slack.

  43. Critter*

    “Predefined frameworks of love”? What does that even mean? Bad creepy vibes.

  44. Candi*

    Okay, to everyone who doesn’t think this is a big deal, besides the harassment, immature actions/reactions, and drama:

    Have you never worked somewhere where a prank was to go up to an unlocked, unwatched computer and screw around with it?

    Desktop backgrounds, screen savers, browser extensions, sound files, on and on and on, changed or tampered with as a prank.

    So some business is dumb enough to install this in the first place. Employee Tory doesn’t want to use it, but the forced installation means she has to put up with it.

    Before they can get it uninstalled or deactivated, they leave the computer open while they goes and does something. Maybe they’re gone longer than intended.

    Terry comes along and for a prank, decides to fiddle with the Feeld settings, data, etc. Because they’re immature and don’t see the difference between that and installing Hello Kitty wallpaper when Tory prefers Girl Genius.

    There is s difference, and drama ensues.

    1. Raven*

      Yes!! That exact thing happened to me at my internship last summer!! (not with a dating program obvs, but with other things involving my computer, which was part of a group of computers that everyone in the office had the one username and password to.)

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