The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Tinder Names New CEO
VARIETY - July 28 - Jim Lanzone, former head of CBS Interactive, has been appointed Tinder's new CEO. Lanzone takes over the role from Elie Seidman, who is stepping down. Lanzone starts at Tinder on Aug. 3, reporting to Match Group CEO Shar Dubey. Lanzone had spent nine years at CBS, most recently president and CEO of CBS Interactive. He exited CBS last fall to join venture-capital firm Benchmark Capital as executive-in-residence. Earlier in his career, Lanzone was CEO of Ask.com, which he joined in 2001 after its acquisition of eTour.com, where he was co-founder and president.
Zoosk Faces California Privacy Law Claim After Hack
BLOOMBERG LAW - July 24 - Zoosk's users are accusing the dating app in a California federal court of violating a state privacy law by failing to protect their information from a hack earlier this year. The class action was filed July 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Matchmaking at Lisdoonvarna Cancelled Due to Covid-19
IRISHNEWS - July 20 - The globally famous event, which takes place in the Co Clare town every September, attracts thousands of people from around the world who hope to find their perfect match. The organisers said the cancellation "will also be felt deeply by many businesses in the area as it brings in more than €2.5M annually to the local economy".
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After Numerous Rejections, Dating App Struck Hits the App Store
TECH CRUNCH - July 21 - Founded by former Apple engineers, a new app called Struck wants to be the astrology-based Tinder. But it took close to 10 attempts over several months for the startup to get its app approved by Apple. App reviewers flagged the app as "spam" either due to its use of astrology or simply because it was designed for online dating. Apple guideline states that developers should "avoid piling on to a category that is already saturated," and reminds developers that the App Store has "enough fart, burp, flashlight, fortune telling, dating, and Kama Sutra apps, etc. already." Apple will reject anything that "doesn't offer a high-quality experience."
Is Video Dating Here to Stay?
BBC - July 21 - Video dating surged during lockdowns, but how much will the trend stick around in the 'new normal'? A recent survey from Match showed that 69% of users in the US were open to video chatting, whereas just 6% had tried it before the pandemic. There was also a surge in interest in livestreaming dating games, with The Meet Group, a US market leader in the sector, reporting a 95% surge in usage of its products since March. These include video speed-dating events and blind-dating games for users who want to focus on personality rather than looks. Dr Helen Fisher, who works as an advisor to Match Group, says that lockdowns around the world followed a period in which many millennials were already experiencing swiping fatigue. Dating app growth slowed globally in 2019, and Fisher's own research before the pandemic suggested a growing appetite for closer emotional connections developed over a longer period, instead of casual hook-ups. With countries now easing lockdowns, most dating experts think people will quickly return to developing romantic relationships offline, rather than focusing on video-based dating. However, there is a consensus that the trend for video dating won't disappear completely, with many suggesting that video calls in the 'new normal' will form part of a screening process before a first real-life date.
More People Are Having Virtual Affairs as Covid-19 Pandemic Wears On
BUSINESS INSIDER - July 15 - Coronavirus pandemic-related stress is a risk factor that could drive people to cheat, according to two University of Tennessee Knoxville psychologists. Kristina Coop Gordon and Erica A. Mitchell said pandemic-related stress is straining relationships, driving people onto dating apps. According to data Gordon and Mitchell obtained from a dating site for married people (they didn't disclose which site), 17K new people have signed up for the services every day during the pandemic. This compares to the 1,500 daily new member sign-ups in 2019.
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Live Video Chat Apps Get in on Action
ECONOMIC TIMES - July 21 - A new ecosystem of 'Live video chat' apps has silently garnered millions of users. These apps allow users to video-call strangers. Four such apps - Chamet, LivU, WHO, and Azar - are among the top 10 grossing apps on the Play Store in India right now. According to Sensor Tower, leading apps in this category make between $200K and $300K a month in revenue from India via in-app purchases. A lot of user reviews for these apps on Google Play Store allege that they send racy messages through in-built chatbots or showcase fake profiles to lure users. Some even urge Google to look into these apps to check for malpractice.
Bumble Launches "Love Will Find a Way" Campaign
EVERYTHING EXPERIENTIAL - July 15 - Research by Bumble affirms that single millennials and GenZ-ers in India are actively interested in dating virtually during these unprecedented times. Bumble launched an integrated digital campaign 'Love Will Find A Way' that celebrates the importance of love, hope and resilience as the lockdown begins to slowly ease in India. Bumble found that 83% of users are more interested in dating during these times, while 63% of users are anxious about the future. 70% of Bumble users in India claim that their personal online dating behaviour has changed compared to before the outbreak, with 80% of these users now accepting and trying virtual dating.
The OPW/iDate Dating Business Insider is first and the largest weekly news summary in the dating industry. Since 2004.
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