The hype was strong with this one, marketed as ‘a perfect end-to-end dating and social experience’ with a funky set of visuals that earned it a cool £1.5 million of investment ahead of its first launch phase (though it’s unclear in the news who the big investor(s) was).
Then came the teething problems – the waiting lists and glitches that left users floundering at the back of an endless queue, unable to get into the app in the run-up to its 10th of August debut.
Naturally, when it finally graced our app stores last month, we jumped on the bandwagon and downloaded it immediately.
Call us music snobs or just call us cultured – whatever you think of people who are fussy about their partner’s music tastes, we’re happy to admit we’re with them entirely.
So, did we find love? No. Did we find out anything interesting about ourselves in the process? Sort of, you could say, if finding out that we listen to more ABBA than we originally thought counts as self-discovery.
To set up your profile, the app allows you to sync with your Spotify or Apple Music account.
From there, it draws on your top artists, albums, and songs to give you suggestions for your favourites.
These selections don’t appear on your profile. Instead, they’re used to match you with potential lovers based on a mixture of music tastes and general feelings (a process called ‘emotional profiling’, as the app puts it).
The list of emotions was about as extensive as a toddler’s, so it was a pretty easy process choosing between the likes of ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘dreamy’, and ‘rebellious’.
Thankfully, the whole process took about 20 seconds, tops. Then came the profile building.
Dating profile setup is a task that intimidates even the most experienced Tinder user. Maybe this is naive, but we were surprised to see that all the usuals were still there.
First came the selection of pics you carefully curate to strike a balance between cute and catfish. Next, was the bio, where you have to choose between ‘funny and approachable’ or ‘sexy and mysterious’.
Not an easy task for 9:00am on a Tuesday morning. And not massively music-related, we have to say.
To give POM its dues, there was a heavy focus on music preferences throughout the rest of the setup process.
Categories like ‘Guilty Pleasure’, ‘Breakup Song’, and ‘Changed My Life’ gave the option to share as much with prospective partners as you felt comfortable with.
As a bunch of out-and-out music lovers, we had no shame admitting that Bryson Tiller’s ‘Don’t’ got us through the trials and tribulations of sixth-form heartbreak. And why would we be? If our prospective matches couldn’t handle us at our ‘Trapsoul’, they sure as hell didn’t deserve us at our ‘ABBA Gold’.
We won’t bore you with our selections for favourite albums, artists, anthems, and music festivals. If the selection above is anything to go by, you can rest assured they were a well-cultivated bunch.
That’s where the fun stopped though.
We’d packed in enough profile fodder to get up to the ‘80% complete’ benchmark and were ready to see what matches awaited us. But all we got in the way of sweet nothings was a loading screen and an error message.
Not quite the romance we’d been anticipating.
Eager to see whether this really was a case of ‘it’s not you it’s me’, we took to the Apple Store to scour through POM’s reviews. Its three and a half star rating (one and a half for the Android version) confirmed our suspicions, despite the app’s lengthy launch period, it still hadn’t fixed many of its issues.
Like us, some users complained that the app ‘wouldn’t show [them] any matches at all’.
Others were irked by the mystery like-limit that prevented them from using it after scrolling through six profiles, even if they hadn’t liked a single one of them.
POM ‘feels like it’s trying to stop me using the app’, another reviewer complained, and we couldn’t agree more.
The app promised love but ended up delivering loading screens, and no one needs any more of those in their life, do they?
If you’re still holding out for a music-based love affair, don’t worry, we’re watching this space to see how the app responds to its negative feedback.
Surely with as healthy a bank balance as its founders have managed to accrue, you’d think there’d be a little left over to make the app functional on a basic level.
All in all, in its current version, POM might get you about as close to another human being as the last lockdown did. But don’t despair, we can all remain hopeful for the next app update.
This review took place between August-September 2021. We got in touch with POM for updates, but as of yet, are still awaiting a response.