Every fortnight we chat to an inspirational member of the Dating Industry.  This week we chat to Hey Saturday Founder, Saskia Nelson.

What’s most exciting in dating at the moment?

What excites me most is the desire from brands outside the industry to collaborate with big dating brands. There is so much potential for raising brand awareness and building brand warmth if dating companies seek out and create interesting partnerships and collaborations, even if they’re just one-offs. Tinder seems to be leading the way, I loved their recent partnerships with Naples Football club, Spotify and Delta.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry?

People love, now more than ever, creating their own written, image and video content and posting them on social media, from chatting in Facebook Live to posting images on Instagram Stories, they’re enjoying being in control of how and when they interact with others. If the dating apps and sites they use are then fairly static in comparison, the experience is going to be a disappointing one. It’s going to take the industry time and money to keep up with these social media giants but if they don’t, people might start finding other ways to interact. Already you’re seeing people creating their own dating profile websites which gives them full control over how they showcase their personal brand and how they market themselves to others.

Where would you like to see the industry going in the next few years?

I’d actually like to see more education for people around dating with emotional intelligence. So many people are struggling with the whole dating experience and I think it’s because in general we just aren’t taught how to be in relationships, we just learn it from our parents and people around us or let our emotions lead the way. Matchmakers often provide help with this as part of their service, but it would be good to see the dating apps and sites playing a bigger role. People are more likely to use dating apps for longer if they’re actually enjoying the experience.

Which brands do you particularly admire?

I love the Her brand. That was the first time I saw a dating app that really excited me. I loved Robyn Exton’s holistic approach to creating an app that went far beyond dating. I signed up for work purposes and even though I wasn’t engaging with the app in any meaningful way, I felt part of a community. I had never experienced anything like that on the apps that I’d used when I was online dating. And, for me, it totally dismantled any stigma associated with online dating.

I’m also starting to admire Grindr more and more. They are using their profile and reach to campaign for LGBTQ rights around the globe. I love that they stand for something and are aiming to be a force for good.

What’s changed since you first entered the industry?

The quality of people’s dating profile photos has definitely improved and I hope I have played a key role in that. Good photos make dating sites and apps more attractive so it’s good to know that a turning point is coming very soon when it’s going to be unacceptable to use poor quality images.