Why “Plum?”

Plum as a color evokes warmth, elegance, class.  Plum as a fruit? Sweetness. Plum as a word? Plum has a secondary meaning of prized, “choice,” or an excellent, or desirable thing.  We aspire to be all of these characteristics and to create the sweeter spot for connection.

How does the rating system work?

Women are given the opportunity to rate a match one time in each category, after communication begins. The rating tool is only available for a short period of time: Women will receive a notification in their conversation queues before the tool is set to disappear, letting them know they should assign a rating (if they have not previously done so). Men seeking men also have access to the rating tool.

Why aren’t women rated?
  • Women have felt objectified or “rated” by men for too long.
  • Women rarely, if ever, instigate lewd, rude, objectifying or cruel behavior on dating apps; the #MeToo movement exists due to a long cultural history of sexual harassment by (some) men.
  • While we believe that only a small percentage of men engage in such behavior, our mission is to turn that small percentage into ZERO!  In so doing, we endeavor to unite women and men, and end the divisiveness that has resulted from the current consequence-free environment of app dating.  As it’s been said: “We’re better together.”

Are the ratings I assign to a man confidential/not shared with the man?


Why don’t you show how many times a man has been rated?

We believe that men should be awarded this confidentiality; we don’t want men to be judged as players, commitment-phobic, etc., if they have a high number of ratings.  A dating app only works if both sexes participate!

Why should men use Plum?

Men should view the rating system as rewarding, not punishing! This is why we say of Plum:  “Where respect is rewarded.” In our focus groups with men, many complained about how hard it can be to stand out on current dating apps. On Plum, if you’re a respectful guy with a good rating, women will get crucial information about your character that they won’t get on any other dating app.

In addition, men with higher ratings will be placed higher in the Plum algorithm. The higher your rating, the more women you will be shown to on Plum.  Think of it as a “Boost” feature for free.

Why those three ratings?

Our three ratings on Plum encompass qualities often absent in today’s app dating landscape, like honesty, respect, thoughtfulness, reliability and engagement. “Profile authenticity,” “communication” and “follow-through” speak to all these values. More specifically, they are:

  • Profile Authenticity: User represented themselves accurately in pictures, and overall profile attributes.  (This rating is only captured for users who actually went on a date.)
  • Communication: User kept things classy, and avoided lewd and/or rude messaging.
  • Follow-through: User kept date commitments, provided closure to the messaging loop, and didn't “ghost.”

Why aren’t jobs and colleges listed?

Studies have shown this can lead to “resume dating,” whereby certain job titles and or universities are the most “liked” profiles on dating apps.  This can eliminate potential connections with others whom you may have great chemistry with in real life (IRL). Many people think they know what they want, and who will be a great match for them, yet research actually shows that the opposite is true; IRL chemistry and connection are most important! So, only dating certain types—doctors, Ivy Leaguers, etc.—is actually counterproductive to your overall success in online dating.

Our approach promotes open-mindedness, and in so doing, will help foster potentially great connections that may not have been otherwise made.   Our approach encourages our users to look for those who have similar values, and not simply the “best” jobs and colleges. If you have a type, it’s because you’re dating similar people over and over again. Ask yourself... Is this working? Or do I need to mix it up?

Why don’t I sign up and login using Facebook?  Why can’t I link my Instagram account?

Simple: For added security and privacy. Plum utilizes a quick, two-factor authentication process through our partner, Telesign, to verify identity. Your privacy and safety are our priority.  At present, there is too much uncertainty around data privacy and Facebook.

We also have no links to Instagram, other social media sites, or job specifics on Plum, which will prevent “backdoor stalking.”  Ever had someone creepily reach out to you on your social media or LinkedIn, by saying: “Hey, I saw you on (insert dating app name here), thought I’d say hi.”  See these links to learn more about this problem on dating apps:

Lack of Privacy


Why are the features different for women seeking women?

Plum was conceptualized to solve two problems in the app dating space: 1) Reduce/eliminate sexual harassment and hostile messaging, which generally has been instigated by men toward women. 2) To give women a customized user experience based on their preference for how communication begins with a match, via our toggle feature of choosing to “initiate” or “receive” the first message with a match.  This feature could not be implemented for gay and lesbian users as if both users were to choose the same setting, communication could not begin. i.e. If two users both choose “Initiate” then neither can start the conversation with the other.

But rest assured, Plum is absolutely an inclusive place for everyone and we will be an ever-evolving app. As we grow, we will continue to consider features beneficial for both straight and gay users. If you have an idea, please let us know!

How do the features work with “psychology of connection”?

We thought a lot about how Plum works, both factoring daters’ frustrations and the psychology of relationship-building into the app’s design. If you actually want to connect with someone in that huge dating pool, endless options can become a problem.

Plum limits you to five MATCHES (not likes) per day, in order to get around the Paradox of Choice; the fact that we, as humans, are happier with some (but not endless) choice.

Our toggle feature gives women the ability to choose whether to initiate or receive messages with matches; power is in adopting the role that feels right to you, not being forced into a specific mode/role. Since every woman will be in a different “mode,” men must also remain engaged with their matches—not just wait for messages to pile up in their inboxes.

Lastly there’s a lot of “resume dating” that takes place on dating apps due to information captured upon enrollment such as occupation and school(s) attended.  We intentionally did NOT incorporate such data points into Plum, as we wanted to create an environment that promoted authentic connection/interest, and not one based on a person’s “resume.” Plum’s seven lifestyle questions are important determinants of compatibility, as are what someone writes in their profile and the photos they present.   However, a job title, or particular university attended are NOT predictive of compatibility whatsoever.

What do I include in my profile?

A great profile will accurately represent who you are, and to a lesser degree, convey what you’re looking for. Answer all lifestyle questions as honestly as you can, and fill out a bio with fun facts relevant to who you are and what you’d want to connect with potential matches on—whether that’s travel, charity work, basketball or fine dining. Whatever. Just let users know what you’re all about.

I don’t know how to start the conversation! Help?

You can open with any question you want, but a question that provokes more than a simple one-word or few-word answer is the best, and will help you connect with your match on a slightly deeper level. (Trust us.) Feel free to steal one of ours:

  • What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done in the past year?
  • If you could hop a flight to anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go? Why?
  • What’s the most significant achievement of your life?
  • Whom are you closest to? Why?
  • What’s one thing you’ve learned about love that you had to learn through experience alone?
  • What’s the best thing to do for a first date? What about the worst thing?
  • If a fortune teller offered to tell you specifics about your future, would you take her up on it?
  • Are you a superstitious person? Why do you think that is?
  • What’s your first-ever memory?
  • What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
  • Which person from your past do you miss the most?
  • Did you ever imagine you’d have the life you’re living now? How did you imagine adulthood as a child?
  • What’s your single biggest fear in life?
  • What’s one thing you hope to do in the next year?
  • If you could only pick one, would you rather be in a lucrative or fulfilling career? Why?
  • How long does it take to develop a real friendship?
  • Which of the five senses do you consider most important, and why?
  • What’s your definition of the perfect day.