Blair Waller of SociaLoop
Blair Waller of SociaLoop

Edinburgh based dating app reviving face-to-face interaction

A new dating app which encourages people to get back out in the real world and make initial face-to-face connections has been launched exclusively in Edinburgh.

Soda, created by Scottish entrepreneur Blair Waller, is a social dating and discovery app which allows the user to connect with people face to face rather than through a computer or smart phone.

Soda gets people online to get them quickly offline and into one of 40 venues across Edinburgh. The users can discover and match with each other by indicating they are also heading to a selection of bar, cafe and club venues across the city. Initial contact is made on the app but the all important connection takes place in safe, fun and social surroundings.

Soda, which takes its name from the term ‘social dating’, also aims to reward people for putting the phones down and getting out there by providing a selection of exclusive deals and discounts from the venues on the app. It is therefore more than just a way to find matches online but also a venue and events discovery and social rewards platform.

Blair came up with the idea following his own trials with dating apps, and believes Soda offers singletons a more organic solution to making real connections with people. He said: “My experiences with dating apps involved investing a huge amount of time in building up an online relationship to an actual date, only to realise that the spark just wasn’t there.

“Soda helps people discover other singles easily by integrating handpicked, safe venues into the app to allow users to connect socially at the best venues in Edinburgh and avoid wasting time with online connections.”

“In an age where digital convenience trumps over social experience, we are missing out on all the benefits that come with a real world interaction. Whether it’s online shopping, banking or dating, you always get a better end result when it is done in person. Soda rewards users for choosing social interaction over digital convenience, not only with better and faster connections but also the offering of brilliant venues, events and exclusive promotions. Soda makes life better if you’re single. The social benefits are so great we have even had a huge number of requests from non-singles to make a non-dating related version. Watch this space on that one.”

The app is currently only available in Edinburgh, with plans to expand into more cities in the near future. Blair believes Scotland’s capital is the obvious destination to launch the app. He says: “I studied in Edinburgh and absolutely loved the social scene in the city because of the number of unique and beautiful venues on offer, there really is something for everybody.

“The city is very cosmopolitan with a great mix of people who have moved here for work or studies. If they don’t have a network of people in the area, Soda can really help them become more social, discover new venues, take advantage of exclusive deals and hopefully make real connections with people.”