It started with an “anonymous” match on Anomo, and ended with a wedding in Vegas.
Megan and Steve tied the knot this past Saturday, becoming the first Anomo users to meet through the app and eventually exchange vows — a smartphone-enabled love story, if you will.
Anomo is an app developed in Seattle that uses anonymous profiles and icebreaker questions to help people meet one another. The service classifies users into subgroups based on icebreaker questions like, “Are you a Republican or Democrat?” or, “Do you worry a lot?” Then, the app’s measures each user’s chat compatibility and matches people based on an algorithm.
Based on their answers to those icebreaker questions, Megan and Steve learned that they had 100 percent compatibility in March. Anomo opened up a chat line between them — little did they know that this was the beginning of a life-long commitment.
The funny part is that neither Megan or Steve joined Anomo to find love.
“I signed up purely out of boredom,” Megan said.
“I heard about Anomo in a news story and I thought I’d give it a shot,” Steve added. “I just wanted to meet new friends and have some fun with it. There were no expectations.”
After the chat line opens, Anomo users can slowly give out more personal information over time while chatting or playing games. Anomo differs from apps like Tinder or OKCupid, which reveal names, interests, and photos immediately before any conversation has started.
Megan and Steve began exchanging messages and pictures through Anomo, and once Megan felt comfortable enough, she shared her number with Steve.
That led to phone calls each night, and text messages throughout the day. Eventually, Megan flew from her hometown of Phoenix to visit Steve in St. Louis in June; he did the same a few weeks later.
“We weren’t nervous at all when it was time to meet in person,” Steve said. “Through our interactions on the app, and then talking on the phone, it just helped alleivate any of the normal pressures you would have meeting someone for the first time.”
After more than 1,600 texts and 278 hours on the phone, Megan decided to move to St. Louis in order to be with Steve. A few months later, they became a happily married couple.
James Sun, co-founder of Anomo, noted that his app is not strictly a dating site. But regardless, he’s happy that the tool was used to help kickstart an eventual marriage.
“Our mission is to connect people with common interests,” Sun said. “Marriage is obviously one of the biggest personal commitments in life, and we are thrilled that Anomo could help two people meet who obviously have many common interests.”
Anomo’s goal of simply helping people meet friends, rather than strictly dating, is part of why Megan likes the app.
“It’s not a dating app and more of a social app — there isn’t pressure on either of us to go in and look for someone or look for a date,” Megan explained. “The other dating apps feel more forced, whereas Anomo is more just for friendship at first.”
Both Megan and Steve also said they liked Anomo’s anonymous feature, which gives each user an avatar until they are ready to share more information with a match. The couple asked to have their last names omitted from this story based on the principles of Anomo.
“Anomo is about anonymity and although we have developed close friendships, met others and shared some of our personal information with the friends we have made, the decision to do so was after getting to know them and ensuring that our privacy could be trusted,” Megan said.
Megan said she has actually met several people on Anomo who she’s connected with in real-life. In fact, she recently took a girls trip to Las Vegas with people she met on the app.
“Anomo helps people connect with others who have common interests,” Sun said. “If that leads to friendships, business partnerships, dating, or marriage … that’s life. Just so long as we are helping people connect.”
So what’s next for Megan and Steve? Toward the end of our interview, they reminisced about sharing posts with each other about countdowns — a countdown until the day they first met, a countdown until their next in-person visit, a countdown to Megan’s relocation to St. Louis.
“Wow, what are we going to countdown next?” Megan wondered. “I think now, let’s just enjoy life. Hopefully we’ll continue being able to meet some of the friends we made on this app. We have several good friendships with people we haven’t been able to meet yet. Some of us talk about plans to take a mini-vacation.”
Anomo, meanwhile, has 250,000 users that are on the app for an average of 37 minutes per day — some of which are now getting married.
“Sometimes, we need a service like Anomo to help us find the right people at the right time,” Sun said. “Though Anomo is not strictly a dating site, we are happy to be part of Megan and Steve’s celebration.”