WASHINGTON - We have all heard the expression “Opposites attract.” But in this election season, we see a lot of tension between groups sharing different opinions. Now, there is an app that is aiming to change that.
The Verona app's motto is “World peace, one swipe at a time.” Their website further explains that Verona introduces people who want to cross a divide.
The app was originally created to be a place for Israelis and Palestinians to connect and build friendships. According to the founder, it was so successful with tens of thousands of users that he decided to create a feature aimed towards Americans in the middle of this heated political time.
“We would like to see world peace,” said Matthew Nolan, founder and CEO of Verona. “When things began heating up with the presidential race, I thought it would be smart to do the same type of thing, but do it here in America.”
The app offers opportunities for Democrats and Republicans to connect. It also has a feature for Trump supporters and Latino Americans to find friendships.
For the app, you pick a group you identify with and then look at profiles of those who identify with differing beliefs. Similar to Tinder, you swipe right for someone you like and swipe left when you are not interested. If you both swipe right, a match is made.
To be clear, this is not a dating app, but it is a friendship app.
So would you use it? We spoke with some people in the nation’s capital about what they thought about it.
“I think that would be a good idea, especially in this area,” said one woman. “All of us of all ages like to talk about things and politics and get into big debates. It's fun.”
“I think the idea of having cross-party dialogue sounds like a good idea, and the intentions behind it,” said another woman we spoke with. “I don't know if that's actually what will happen once people are using it.”
“I probably wouldn't,” said another. “I'm not really political at all, but it sounds like a very innovative system.”
Nolan said he did originally create this as a dating app with the idea of connecting Israelis and Palestinians. However, he said he got feedback from people saying they were married or just were not interested in a relationship. Instead, they just wanted to talk to people with these different views and opinions and learn from them.
Nolan said he was astounded by the response rate. He said about 50,000 users of the Palestinian connection are part of the app. It has done so well that in the next few days, they are going to roll out fully functional version for those in the United States.