The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Crown, A New App From Match Group, Turns Dating Into A Game
TECH CRUNCH - June 16 - Crown is the latest dating app from Match Group, thought up by Match Product Manager Patricia Parker, who met her husband online. Crown won Match Group's internal "ideathon," and was then developed in-house by a team of millennial women, with a goal of serving women's needs in particular. Every day at noon, users are presented with 16 curated matches, picked by some mysterious algorithm. They move through the matches by choosing who they like more between two people at a time. The screen displays two photos instead of one, and users "crown" their winner. This process then repeats with two people shown at a time, until they reach their "Final Four." Those winners are then given the opportunity to chat, or they can choose to pass. Crown has been live in a limited beta for a few months, but is now officially launched in L.A. with more cities to come. The app is a free download on iOS only for now. An Android version is coming, the website says.
India: Tinder's Pricing Based On Age Is The Reason To Regulate How Companies Use Data
HUFFINGTON POST - June 10 - Tinder is charging a 25-year-old Rs 520 per month for its premium service Gold, a 33-year-old woman pays Rs 1,099 and a 36-year-old man pays Rs 1,600 for the identical service. The prices are slightly more for users of Apple devices over Android devices. "Tinder is offering exactly the same services for different prices to different individuals. That is unreasonable," said Suresh Kumar an advocate with Legal Help Line India. He suggested that users can file a complaint with the Competition Commission Of India and challenge Tinder's 'unreasonable' pricing. But Tinder is not the only company using user's data to its own advantage. In India, banks are building apps that read client's text messages, and analyse social media posts to assess loan applications.
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Live-streaming Video Helped Momo Surpass $10B In Market Value
SCMP - June 13 - Momo, whose net income rose 60% to a record $129.9M in the March quarter, now has a higher market capitalisation than Sina Corp. Momo's share price increase almost fourfold since its IPO in Dec 2014, when its shares sold at $13.50 each. That pushed up Momo's market capitalisation to $10.8B. Snapchat, by comparison, has a market value of $16.6B. Launched in 2011, Momo started as a hook-up app for young Chinese people. The company entered China's live-streaming market in Nov 2015 after spotting the shift to video as a new medium for young people to interact and share content. Live streaming video has enabled Momo to make social networking more diverse in the app. In the past few years, Momo has introduced karaoke, audio chat room, short video and a collection of interactive social games, including popular party game Werewolf, to its users. A recent Deloitte report forecast the Chinese live-streaming market to have viewer numbers topping 456M this year. Tantan, the rival Tinder-like online dating app acquired by Momo last month, is expected to be the company's new growth engine, according to Momo.
Taiwan's M17 Entertainment Postpones New York IPO
TAIWAN NEWS - June 13 - Live streaming and dating app group M17 Entertainment is postponing its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as it had obtained $35M in private capital. M17 said the new round of funding would allow the company to remain private as well as "lively" and flexible, while continue to expand its business in Asia. The new funds came from Infinity Venture Partners of Japan, Convergence Ventures of Indonesia, and Majuven Capital and Global Grand Capital of Singapore.
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Grindr's Publication 'INTO' Launches LA Production Studio For LGBTQ+ Creators
BILLBOARD - June 14 - INTO, dating app Grindr's digital publication, has opened up a production studio in Los Angeles' West Hollywood neighborhood, as part of a new initiative to provide LGBTQ+ content creators alternative route to mainstream publishing platforms. Videographers, advertisers, and other media companies can produce photos and videos. INTO will not charge the creators but reserves the right to publish the videos on its own site. That way, the publication can sell ad space on these videos.
Here's How Snapchat Will Work With Tinder On Its New Developer Platform
ADAGE - June 14 - Snapchat's new developer platform that allows it to integrate with outside apps like Tinder, Postmates and Patreon, is going live this week. Now daters on Tinder will be able to flirt with Bitmojis. Postmates will let people share delivery information to friends inside Snapchat. Snapchat built four "kits" that will open the messaging and media app to outside developers. Snapchat's platform will let people sign into participating apps using their Snapchat accounts. Tinder is jumping on Bitmojis, the cartoonish emojis that people customize to look like themselves. So, now Tinder users on Snapchat will be able to message one other with their Bitmojis.
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The Meet Group Launches LOVOO Live In Spain And Italy
BUSINESSWIRE - June 13 - The Meet Group announced the release of live video on LOVOO, its leading European dating app, in Spain and Italy. "We are pleased to continue rolling out livestreaming video to the LOVOO audience, building on our previous launches in Austria, Switzerland, and France with this expansion to Spain and Italy," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. "We are progressing ahead of schedule, and we expect to bring Live to Germany, LOVOO's largest country, later this summer." Live lets users interact with one another by allowing them to broadcast from anywhere at any time.
Here's Why Tinder Shouldn't Be Worried About Facebook
BUSINESS INSIDER UK - June 11 - Match Group shouldn't be worried about Facebook's entrance into online dating, Jefferies analyst Brent Thill says. Companies that have experienced a Facebook intrusion have historically seen solid share performance after the social-media company entered their business. Evidence shows users are prone to staying on Match, even if they also choose to use Facebook. Plus, it's not as if using one dating app means cancelling one's account on another. In a survey of 600 users, Thill found that 61% of users said Facebook's service will be an "additive" to the market, rather than a takeover of the market. Additionally, 60% of respondents are on more than one dating app.
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