Thread is a mobile-only dating app for college campuses. Founded by Zach Dell, son of Michael Dell, Thread is designed to promote safer and more relevant connections than other dating apps.

The app restricts users to their own college community by requiring an @edu address for sign-up and only showing users people from their own campus. It won’t show users more than 10 people a day, so it encourages thoughtful interaction over the rapid-swipe methods common to other dating apps. And, users can only match with 12 people at a time – once the match max is reached, Thread automatically drops matches that have been interacted with the least.


Matches are narrowed down to 12 at a time, encouraging serious and thoughtful matching.

Thread’s iOS app had to be ready quickly – in fewer than three months. We made ourselves at home with Thread’s design team and with mobile backend provider, ClearBlade. ClearBlade provided the platform for Thread’s messaging features and data management, while we focused on creating a well-polished interface that would keep users engaged.


We designed an appealing, polished UI that resonated with the user base.

Thread had previously worked with developers who had delivered an unusable product and damaged the launch timeline, so it was crucial that Jackrabbit and ClearBlade deliver a high-quality product on time. Working as a single team was the only way we were able to accomplish everything we did with this app in just three months.

Prior to the app’s release, Thread ran a prelaunch onboarding campaign that let students at the University of Texas create user profiles, even though the main functionality of the app wasn’t available yet. This move ensured users would have a pool of potential matches as soon as the app was launched. Thread hosted an official launch party at a UT fraternity house, and students who wanted to attend had to use the app as their ticket into the party. We stayed on-call during the release party to make sure there were no technical difficulties. The event went off without a hitch, and students started matching that very night.


University of Texas students were connecting on Thread within minutes of launch.

Thread is all about quality connections, and we’re pleased to say the app achieved significantly more successful results than a standard dating app. Despite a user base limited to college campuses, Thread nets 600 matches every week.