Gen Z Female Entrepreneurs Zero In On “Intention Over Attention” to Fill the Human Connections Gap of Social Media and Dating Apps

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Chances App introduced to help Gen Z young adults fire up a variety of relationships from friendships to dating based on mutual intentions

Vanessa Lipschutz and Noelle Lipschutz Co-Founders of Chances

Vanessa Lipschutz and Noelle Lipschutz Co-Founders of Chances

Where relationships are concerned, during and after COVID, Gen Z wants a new approach that helps people make genuine connections in all kinds of relationships. -- Vanessa Lipschutz, Co-Founder and Chief Innovator at Chances

Disenchanted with how social media platforms and dating apps value quantity over quality — driven by shallow swipes, number of streaks, likes, views, or followers — two female Gen Z entrepreneurs today announced Chances, a new social relationships app. Designed for and inspired by its Gen Z founders, the Chances App uses mutually-matched intentions to help young adults make new friends, find relationship partners, and plan activities.

Founders and sisters, Vanessa Lipschutz (age 23) and Noelle Lipschutz (age 19), began envisioning the Chances App just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As they saw their generation struggling with social isolation, they accelerated their timeline for developing the app. Throughout 2020, Vanessa, a recent graduate from Seattle University, and Noelle, a sophomore at UCLA, tested the Chances App at UCLA. Like most colleges, the vast majority of UCLA classes were online with most of the campus closed. Hundreds of UCLA students had an overwhelmingly positive reception to Chances, and their feedback demonstrated Gen Z’s hunger for an app that facilitates deeper and more authentic connections with others.

“Throughout COVID, so many of us turned to Zoom and our go-to social media channels to stay in contact with friends, but it’s obvious these older platforms are not built for truly connecting,” said Vanessa, co-founder and chief innovator at Chances. “Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and those platforms are great for quick updates or sharing information. But where relationships are concerned, during and after COVID, Gen Z wants a new approach that helps people make genuine connections in all kinds of relationships.”

THE FIRST INTENTIONS-BASED SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS APP
Unlike social media apps that focus on eliciting attention, or dating apps that focus on impulse and appearance, Chances connects people based on mutually declared intentions across nine areas. These include Connect, Friends, Let’s Chat, Let’s Hang, Let’s Game, Let’s Study, Let’s See, FWB (Friends with Benefits), and Let’s Date with many more to come. Whether looking for casual acquaintances, study partners, close friends, or possibly the love of your life, it’s easy to use Chances to see where your intentions match with people you know, know of, or want to know.

Members make new connections by exploring the Chances Encounter Carousels, searching for people in their circles, or getting introduced by fellow members. It’s easy to choose your intentions with a strategy in mind, craft the right message, banter, and even ask your posse or community to be your wingfriend in making a new connection. Chances even has a special “secret admirer” feature for people to safely explore a new or new kind of relationship. The unique intentions-based model across multiple approaches empowers members to take a chance and reach out to people without fear of rejection. It can be hard to ask someone to be your friend or something more, but the Chances App helps you do this with less risk and fewer regrets so you’ll never have to wonder what could have been.

VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON ACTIVITIES ENHANCE CONNECTIONS
During COVID, feedback from UCLA students identified the need to help young adults plan activities after connecting—whether it be a small, socially-distanced outing during COVID or a virtual event. When it comes to Activities, Chances makes it easy to take the initiative — invite someone new or meet up with your besties and explore a new activity safely during the pandemic and beyond.

To plan an activity or event, users can easily browse or search the Chances Activity Carousel using keywords, category, and location to find places to eat, go on hikes, play games, attend virtual events, or create their own custom activities quickly. Chances also has a Volunteering category so young adults can more easily help others and invite their friends to volunteer with them. User activities are organized in their Chances Calendar, a visually-rich, reimagined calendar to manage their social life. It’s the most fun members will ever have with a calendar, plus no more digging through text messages figuring out plans. Creating an invite is also quicker than it is to text someone.

“Connecting with intentions is the first step, but where’s the fun in stopping there? It’s a lot more fun to take action and find things to do together — eat out, go for a hike, have a Zoom cocktail hour, or whatever lights you up,” said Noelle, co-founder and chief social director at Chances. “The Chances App makes it easy to take that next step, which is important to live your best life, otherwise you’ll end up at home, behind a screen, missing out.”

WHY GEN Z NEEDS CHANCES AND MORE INTENTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
Although society is more technologically connected than ever, there are an awful lot of lonely people, with Gen Z (48.3%) being the loneliest group, according to a survey by Cigna done prior to COVID. In addition to loneliness, Gen Z has a lot of anxiety around relationships and being accepted by others: appearance (45%) is the top-ranked anxiety for Gen Z, and perhaps surprisingly, friendships are also a key source of anxiety (32%).

Despite what conventional social media apps may promise, it turns out having a large follower base doesn’t end loneliness or create meaningful relationships. They may be “social media natives,” but Gen Z is entering adulthood during a pandemic, and they’re reporting the highest stress levels of any generation in the United States, according to the American Psychological Association's (APA) Stress in American 2020 report.

Vanessa and Noelle are among the first of Gen Z to hit adulthood, and they’ve experienced all of these feelings. Craving deeper connections, they are over the disingenuous focus on counting likes or number followers in social media or being just a picture to swipe in dating apps like Tinder and Bumble.

“Forming authentic and meaningful social connections is one of the most effective ways to cope with stress and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression,” said Richard W. Robins, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, where he is Director of the Personality, Self, and Emotions Laboratory. “Today’s social media apps and dating platforms seem to amplify these forms of stress. It’s exciting to see Chances take a new approach for the next generation of young adults to express their intentions, see where they match up, and give them more meaningful ways to connect.”

Watch the video learn more about how Chances works.

HOW TO START TAKING CHANCES
To join Chances, you must be 18 or older. Chances is launching with a community at UCLA and will announce “drop days” for additional college communities.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
Forming new relationships (or changing existing ones) can be wonderful, painful, embarrassing, and — let’s face it — hilarious. Vanessa and Noelle have had their share of all of the above, and they share their stories in their funny, fresh, thoughtful, nothing-off-limits podcast. Subscribe and follow the “Taking Chances with Vanessa and Noelle” podcast to hear more as they help free Gen Z of tired, limited dating platforms (swipe left/swipe right, good/bad, yes/no) and boring, superficial social media and dating platforms where you might connect but rarely feel truly connected.

ABOUT US
Chances is a social relationships app created for and by GenZ entrepreneurs. Our mission is to inspire, celebrate, and ignite genuine and exciting relationships that feed the human spirit. We offer a clear alternative to social media and dating apps for people who want a better way to fire up a variety of meaningful relationships from friendships to dating based on mutual intentions. For more information visit http://www.thechancesapp.com.

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