In 2015, no viral catchphrase is complete without its own dedicated, single-use app. So of course, as soon as teens started saying “Netflix and chill” as coded slang for hooking up (here’s the history of the term, if you’re just catching up), it was only a matter of time before the app economy sprung into action.
The “Netflix and chill” app isn’t actually called “Netflix and chill.” It’s called TikiTalk, and it was created by a pair of developers in California and France and released for iOS earlier this week. I downloaded it this morning.
When you open TikiTalk, you’re greeted with a screen that lists various group activities. On the demo version I tried, there was “Get Korean BBQ,” “Get Brunch,” and of course, “Netflix and Chill.” The app shows you other available users based on location, and you can invite a nearby user to do the activity with you. If they agree, a chat window opens up with that person, and you can start arranging the date.
The idea behind TikiTalk isn’t all that creative. (It’s basically Tinder without the swiping, and with some built-in date ideas in the manner of ‘How About We.’) It’s hard to imagine it catching on, especially because the whole premise of “Netflix and chill” is that it’s supposed to be surreptitious. But pitching it as the “Netflix & chill app” was an inspired marketing touch.
I asked TikiTalk co-founder Daniel Ahn how he decided to glom onto the “Netflix and chill” trend.
“The universe just kind of came together,” he said. “Netflix and chill is just so funny. It was everything we were about. Sending someone an invite or whatever, you can make them smile.”
Ahn, who works in fashion in Southern California and has no background in the tech industry, said that, as of now, he and his co-founder have no plans to make money with TikiTalk. But he can envision a money-making strategy in the future that revolves around sponsored activities. “If Calvin Harris is playing in your city,” he said, the app could suggest it as a date activity.
Ahn compared TikiTalk to Facebook’s poke function, and said he could imagine it leading to spontaneous interactions, both platonic and romantic.
“With Tinder, you have to swipe with every person,” he said. “With this app, you literally open it, and you see who’s around you. From there, you can send them an invite to Netflix and chill.”
As for why he’d decided to focus his app on the teen catchphrase of the moment, Ahn said he was just having fun.
“Everyone is, like, in agreement that it’s really funny and true. There’s really nothing else to do with your significant other — you’re just watching Netflix and, like, chilling.”