November 16, 2018

‘Shalom’: New Dating App Launches

Jewish millennials are familiar with the widely popular dating app JSwipe and the longtime dating website JDate. Now, a brand new Jewish dating app has come on the scene, and it was not created by Jews.

Created by a couple of Sikh entrepreneurs, the Shalom app was launched on Wednesday and is being sold as the middle ground between casual dating and more serious relationship seeking. Most dating apps provide users with a random selection of people to swipe left or right to get possible matches. Shalom, by contrast, creates a selection pool that’s less random. It searches for likely matches based on “social media profiles, and behavioral data, like how users have interacted with others on the app, in order to make connections,” according to Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).

“We think we definitely have a better product and the back-end technology stacked to actually match people based on data,” KJ Dhaliwal, one of the app’s co-creators, told JTA. “We do a lot of work in making sure our algorithms are set up in a way that actually results in people matching with people they end up marrying one day.”

Interestingly, Dhaliwal, his co-creator Sukhmeet Toor and their team in San Francisco, CA all consist of non-Jews. But they have prior success in the field of dating apps, as their prior app, Dil Mill, has become the South Asian version of Tinder. Dil Mill uses the same formula that Shalom uses.

Dhaliwal told JTA that he figured that the Jewish community would be perfect for an app using that kind of formula given the similarities between the Jewish and South Asian community “in terms of the values around community, the values around family, the values around marriage.”

Dhaliwal and Toor certainly have their work cut out for them in competing against JSwipe, the app that already claims the mantle of the “Jewish Tinder”, boasts a four-star review on Google Apps, and already has 410,000 users. But perhaps these Sikh entrepreneurs will be savvy enough to establish Shalom as a viable alternative in the lucrative market of Jewish dating.