At The Pool launched last summer as a way to meet new people, based around the idea of a daily introduction to someone you have something in common with. Now it’s refining the idea with a redesign and a bunch of new features.
The core concept of At The Pool remains the same. Every day you receive an email about someone the service thinks you should meet. They might be someone who lives close to you or perhaps someone from further away that you share interests with. You then have 24 hours to initiate a conversation with them before another person is emailed to you the following day.
The problem was that until now, you rarely had reason to visit the website if the person in that day’s email didn’t interest you. I’ve been signed up since At The Pool launched, and I can go weeks without ever actually clicking through on one of the daily emails. Now, in addition to redesigning the entire site, the LA-based startup has introduced new features to keep people coming back more often.
The new Splashes feature allows users to offer up an activity suggestion for a specific location and time. If anyone else is interested in joining you for it, they can ‘splash’ to say that they’re in. A redesigned homepage, called the ‘Tide Pool’ allows you to browse relevant Splashes as well as manage your account, see your current day’s match and send and receive messages to and from other users.
Interest groups within At The Pool are called ‘Pools’ and you can join any that you think are relevant, be they tied to themes such as The Next Web or video games, or offline communities that you’re part of. With the today’s news come branded Pools. Given that SXSW kicks off this week, a SXSW Pool is being launched that will – just like all other Pools – introduce members to one new person a day, before, during, and after the conference, based on a matching algorithm, which At The Pools says it has upgraded to provide better matches. If they take off, branded pools could even be a route to monetization for the startup.
As with any service of its kind, At The Pool’s recommendations are only as good as the user base it has that matches your interests. If you live on the startup’s home turf in LA, for example, you could well find plenty of people to hang out with. In some other parts of the world though, there may not be a lot for you here.
That said, for finding new people to, say, go bowling with or to visit an event with, the new version of At The Pool could still well be worth a try.