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How Does Happn Work? What Is It & How To Use It 2022 Guide

How Does Happn Work? What Is It & How To Use It 2022 Guide

Happn is a location-based app (no website) with a really nifty twist. Unlike traditional dating apps that just connect you with potential matches so you can start chatting online, Happn takes it a step further by actually geo-locating matches near you in real-time.

This means finding a match that you “happen” to literally cross paths with (hence the name). I really love the idea!

Happn is, in some ways, a bit like Tinder since once you sign up you’re presented with profiles in your vicinity based on your search criteria and you either like or not (no swiping function though, you just tap the “Y” or the “x” symbols).

Once you’ve liked a few profiles, you’ll have to wait until they like you too… and then voila! It’s a crush.

And the really cool thing is you won’t even have to drive across town to meet.

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How Does Happn’s First-Time Sign Up Work?

Sign-up to Happn is easy. You’re given two options to sign up: either using your Apple ID or with your Facebook account.

This is just for validation and is not shared with your FB profile or anything.

You’ll need to enter your first name, date of birth, your gender, and the gender you won’t cross paths with, and then at least one profile photo.

The next step is to select what you’re looking for, be it a relationship, nothing serious, or for the fence-sitters out there, an “I’ll know it when I find it” option. 

Then strangely enough, after specifying your height and exercise habits, you’ll need to say how well you can cook.

That seemed a bit odd, but I guess anything to get a conversation started, right?

The final 4 steps are to select your ideal vacation (hike & backpack, deck chair & sunscreen or museum & postcards), your preferences when it comes to nightlife (in bed by midnight, party in moderation or I’m a night owl), smoking (you smoke, not a fan of zero tolerance) and finally if you want kids or not.

Happn also allows you to choose deal-breakers from the outset.

Video Recommendation:

How Your Happn Profile Works

Once you’ve set up your profile and indicated what you’re looking for (and if you can cook or not… I can’t get over that one), you can start browsing the matches near you.

A match on Happn is called a “crush”. The way it works is you like (or not) the profiles that come up based on your search criteria (which can be changed anytime in your profile settings).

The profiles you like won’t know it unless they like you back too, in which case you both get an alert that you’ve matched and there we have it: a crush.

The ball is in your court now.


As I’ve said before, photos are the norm on dating websites and apps, you will always get the best results by uploading photos of yourself.

There is nothing more annoying than profiles that are blank or contain generic internet images… or even worse, fake photos. That also means taking more than one photo!

Happn is no different… if you want your matches to be good, then you need to upload a few images (usually between 2 and 6, although you can get away with just one), showing you in your natural element to support your profile description and what you’re looking for. Check out my one tip for taking great photos for your profile.

You can take it a step further by “certifying” your profile… you’ll be asked to switch on your camera, imitate head gestures as per instructions, and then your biometric data is compared with your profile images. You will then get a blue badge on your profile which assures other users that your photos are real.

Note that if you change photos you might lose your blue certification badge and will have to go through the verification process again. Makes sense to me…

How Does Happn Work - Photos


The preferences are set during your initial setup, but they can be changed anytime. They will determine your matches, so you might want to tweak it a bit as you get used to the app.

Choose what you want to find (men or women), age range, and additional criteria like height, smoking habits, wants kids or not, etc….

Some other interesting features (some are available for the basic/free membership, but most need a premium subscription… more information about this later)… are scheduled invisibility settings which give you the option of switching geo-location off for a specific number of hours, or on specific days of the week, if you want a break or don’t want to cross paths with anyone.

A nice touch to keep enabled is the “share my crossing cluster” … which lets you see where you’ve crossed paths with other users (in places where you’ve just passed through instead of your daily routine).

This feature allows you to find other Happn users on the map.

You can link your IG and Spotify accounts to share more images or playlists (helpful for potential matches). And of course, you can set up your notifications in this section (get notified every time you get a crush, receive messages, etc…). You can set some additional privacy controls to hide your age, online/offline status, and distance.

How Happn Matching Works

Once you’ve set up your profile, you’ll start to see profiles of people who have crossed paths with you recently. Obviously, this will depend on how many app users are in your vicinity or near you as you go about your daily routine.

The app always works in the background (i.e. you don’t need to keep it open), as long as your geolocation feature is enabled on your device.

You can also “boost” your profile for 24 hours so that you are on the top of the list for any of your potential matches. This is a paid feature.

How Does Happn Work - Crossed Paths Matching

How Happn Messaging Works

Communicating with other members on Happn is quite straightforward. There has to be a mutual crush… which means it isn’t enough that you liked someone, or someone liked you. You BOTH have to like each other for a dialog to begin.

There is another option, though… rather than just like a person, you can send them a “FlashNote” instead. If you sign up for a Premium subscription, you get 10 free FlashNotes each day (5 every 12 hours); it is the best way to stand out from the crowd.

This feature is useful if someone has caught your eye… you can send them a FlashNote and maybe you will be able to chat with them instead of waiting until there is a mutual crush. You never know.

How Does Happn Work - Flash Note Messaging

How The Happn Algorithm Works

Happn’s algorithm(s) is based on the perpetual geolocation of its users. It’s simple and absurdly convenient and useful to meet people in places you go regularly or might have passed through.

The algorithm is not about common interests, etc… but really about physical presence, ideally to make it easier to meet up (if you’re lucky enough to have crushes on each other).

How Happn’s Premium Membership Model Works

Happn’s basic membership is free, but functionality will be limited to just seeing who you’ve crossed paths with. To initiate a conversation you’ll need a premium subscription.

The premium subscription gets you 10 FlashNotes to send per day and you’ll enjoy using the app without any intrusive ads.

It also gives you access to the list of people who’ve Liked your profile, lets you schedule “Invisible” mode, hides key personal information (called a “Mystery” feature), rewinds when you skip over a profile too quickly, and use the Video call feature 5 times for up to an hour.

How Does Happn Work - Premium Features

What Does Happn Cost?

The Premium subscription is for either 1 month ($21.99), 3 months ($11.34/month or $67.99), or 6 months ($7.59/month or $90.99), and you can cancel anytime through your phone’s subscription feature.

If you want to buy “boosts” (a rocket symbol ). 10 boosts cost $36, 3 boosts cost $13 and a single boost costs $5.

Keep in mind all of the above prices are in USD and are subject to change based upon many different factors such as location.

Happn: Value For Money

Happn’s subscription plans are generally what you’d expect to pay for on other online dating providers. However, because of the unique idea behind this app, I felt that it was somehow justified.

Obviously, your own experience (which is very much dependent on your location and the number of Happn users), will determine how useful this app is.

It goes without saying that if you’re in a big city you will have more possibilities than if you were in a more rural area.

So, I’d say try the basic membership, see how many other users have crossed your path, and then make the decision whether to go premium or not. Of course, you could always just go out more to make things Happn!

How Does Happn Work - Premium Pricing

Happn Customer Care

Based on some online reviews, customer care isn’t that great. I have to say that in most cases people rarely go on websites to say good things about anything… it is usually to share bad experiences.

So, with that, I didn’t have to deal with customer care myself, but there are some negative comments about their responsiveness.

How To Access / Download Happn

Happn is available for both IOS and Android.

App Store

Google Play

Final Thoughts

Happn works using a simple and very logical concept. I’m surprised that no other apps (besides Tinder who tried it with ‘Places’) make use of this concept of crossing paths and matching accordingly.

And basically, it seems like, well, the more you walk the more dates you get…  I’ll make a note of that right after I watch the next episode of The Expanse.

But look, I definitely do think there are far better apps and sites out there compared to Happn. Make sure you take my quiz which will tell you exactly what dating app would suit you best.

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