Every seven days, Thursday presents its members with matches and gives them 24 hours to arrange a date.
“Sleep well. Guessing you’re alone tonight,” it said.
Sharing a screenshot of the notification on Twitter, TV critic Scott Bryan said: “Wow this dating app can go to hell.”
“Reminder that advertisers have got to stop shaming single people to feel bad about themselves when relationships don’t solve your problems.
“INTO THE BIN you go,” he said, tagging the app’s official Twitter account.
Another Thursday user, Marc Walsh, accused the app of disrespecting its members.
“I’ve known the feeling of loneliness, and reminding someone of that feeling for the sake of a ‘funny’ notification is awful. Respect your audience, you never know who you’re talking to,” he tweeted.
One journalist, Liam O’Dell, said the notification could have a detrimental impact on people struggling with low self-esteem.
“Single Liam had a horrifically low self-esteem, so yeah, this would have messed me up a fair bit. What the hell is this?” he said.
The app has since issued an apology to its users. “We got a notification very wrong last night. We’re here to empower singles, not shame them. We’re sorry,” it said in a notification this morning.
Thursday was co-founded by entrepreneurs George Rawlings and Matt McNeill Love, with the aim of tackling “dating app fatigue”.
“People are spending too much time on dating apps. Not only is the whole experience underwhelming, but pressure to find ‘the one’ is boring,” an official description of the app reads.
“That’s where Thursday comes in. We built an app where everything you want from online dating happens in one day, making Thursday the one day of the week when singles can match, chat and meet. Why? Because there’s more to life than dating apps,” it adds.
In a statement to The Independent, Thursday said it is aware that the notification has caused some upset.
“It was meant to be light-hearted in line with our tone of voice, but it is clear that not everyone saw it that way and for that, we are truly sorry,” a statement said.
It added: “Thursday is all about empowering singles and being single. We will do better going forward. Thank you to all of our members and fans for their continued support.”