The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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:~ TOP ONLINE PERSONALS WATCH NEWS ~:
Facebook Started Testing Its Dating Feature
CNET - Aug 4 - Facebook has begun internal testing for its new dating feature (Facebook doesn't plan to launch a standalone dating app). A Facebook representative confirmed testing has kicked off, saying, "We are testing Facebook Dating internally (as we regularly do with new features), but we don't have anything more to share right now." Facebook is hoping users will trust the social network with their personal information, even after the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year, in which data from as many as 87M Facebook users was improperly shared with the political consultancy.
Tinder Is The Most Used App Via Facebook Login
DIGITAL TRENDS - Aug 3 - According to Facebook app login token data tracked by Thinknum, Tinder usage is at the highest it's been. Tinder is the most used app via Facebook login, beating out both Spotify and Candy Crush Saga for the first time. Bumble, with its popular "girls first" take on the Tinder formula, had a good run last spring, but has failed to gain ground on Tinder.
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Reasons Why L.A. Is The Perfect Market For Dating App Launches
L.A. BIZ - July 31 - LA has a vibrant startup culture and a rapidly-growing tech industry, as well as an enormous media market, strong universities, a deep pool of human capital, a massive tech-focused consumer market, no shortage of capital investment, and a much lower cost of living than competitors like the Bay Area and New York City. Dating is naturally a local activity, so to prove that a new product concept or dating app works, you don't necessarily need to go national at the outset. L.A. is home to many of the most successful dating apps ever launched, including Tinder, eHarmony, Grindr, and Spark Networks.
Tinder Vs. Bumble
DMAGAZINE - Aug 1 - Tinder and Bumble filed dueling lawsuits recently accusing each other of being copycats, among many other things. Tinder claims the fight is just business. But for Whitney Wolfe-Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble, it's a story of deceit, betrayal, mad lust, and more generally the plight of women in business as victims of aggressive male domination. The similarities are what Match Group and Tinder are complaining about in the patent and trademark infringement suit filed by Match Group on March 16, 2018. Match Group has a 2014 registered trademark on the word "swipe" as used in "software for social introduction and dating services," as well as a utility patent for a "method for profile matching," and a design patent covering a flashcard-type graphical user interface for mobile devices. On March 28, 2018 - only 12 days after Match Group filed its suit - Bumble filed a separate lawsuit against Match Group with allegations that make the dispute sound personal. Bumble alleges that Match Group tried to buy Bumble for $450M in June 2017, which Bumble rejected as "unappealing." When Wolfe-Herd graced the cover of Forbes' "30 Under 30" issue in Dec 2017, Forbes said Match Group had made another proposal that fall which valued Bumble at $1B - again rejected. In its lawsuit, Bumble alleges that Match Group was asking Bumble to reveal its most valuable secrets so that Match Group could make another, higher, offer. Immediately after Bumble shared those secrets, Match Group filed its infringement lawsuit. Bumble's current pleading goes on to argue that Match Group is the real copycat: After Bumble launched its "Bumble Boost" feature in 2016, Tinder copied that with "Tinder Gold" in 2017. Then in February 2018, Match announced that Tinder will let female users choose whether only they can initiate conversations with future matches.
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Personals: A New Instagram Dating Community For LGBT
NEW YORK TIMES - Aug 4 - Old-school personal ads are the currency of Personals, an Instagram dating community built for lesbians; bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual women; and gender-nonconforming and nonbinary people. The page, which has 40K followers, works like this: Text-based personal ads are submitted once a month. Ms. Rakowski then publishes them as Instagram posts and tags the people who submitted them. Interested parties can get in touch directly. Ms. Rakowski, 39, is a photo editor at Metropolis magazine and the creator of Herstory, an Instagram account that surfaces lesbian imagery from as early as the 1800s. This summer, she raised ~$48K on Kickstarter for a prototype version that will still use the typewriter font and gender-neutral aqua palette. Instead of swiping, users browse a continuous feed, much like the user experience of Facebook or Twitter.
China's 200 Million Singles Are A Big Business
SPIEGEL.DE - Aug 4 - As a result of the government's decades long one-child per family policy and a preference for boys, an imbalance of the sexes has developed. For every 114 men in China, there are 100 women; overall, there are 30M more men than women. Those who remain unmarried die a quick social death in the country. The combination of freedom of choice and social pressure has become overwhelming for many. Thousands of flirt trainers, marriage brokers and love gurus are now employed in China's quest for happiness. Baihe, the largest online platform for people looking for someone to marry, has 300M members and 3k would-be matchmaker employees. The elite agency Diamond Love has its headquarters in Shanghai. It has 5M members, with some of them paying ~$15K a month for "custom services" promising them the wife of their dreams. A person's social status in China is determined by the authorities. The so-called Hukou system of household registration, splits all people into two categories: rural or urban. The place where a Chinese person is registered determines their access to doctors, schools - and also to urban, middle-class women. No date takes place in China without someone politely asking about the other person's Hukou status. Someone who moves to the city can, with some luck, attain the same privileges as the people who were born there. The Chinese government long ago recognized that the hordes of frustrated men migrating to the cities are a problem. The party now wants more children and is organizing mass group dates across the country.
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Gleeden Claims 270K Users In India
NEW INDIAN EXPRESS - Aug 4 - Should adultery be tried as an offence in India, or should the state and its courts stay out of it? A petition submitted to the Supreme Court has started a debate around this. Meanwhile Gleeden, an app that provides a platform for 'extramarital dating' is doing very well in India. It has 2.7 lakh (270K) users in India. Gleeden was launched officially in India in August 2017 but Indians were using its services way before that. Gleeden Indian users mostly come from big cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru. Most of the members have a privileged professional background. A lot of them are senior executives, doctors, lawyers or bankers, says Solene Paillet, Head of Communication Management of Gleeden.
Grindr Used To Sell Drugs
NBC NEWS - Aug 2 - "Today with Grindr, men can have sex and drugs delivered to their door instantly," said Phil McCabe, a social worker and president of the National Association of LGBT Addiction Professionals. Grindr has previously taken steps to address the buying, selling and promoting of drugs on its platform. However, those who use the app say it is still home to a robust market for illicit substances. The terms "parTy and play" and the acronym "PNP," which can be seen on Grindr and beyond, are used by some gay men to describe a sexual encounter while under the influence of drugs. Beyond code words, there's also a plethora of symbols and emojis that are used to indicate drugs. Grindr users discreetly reference crystal meth by putting a diamond emoji in their profile, and snowflake emojis are used to get the attention of those looking to purchase cocaine. According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1.4M people in the U.S. used methamphetamines in 2016, and gay men use the drug at double the rate of the general population. Under U.S. law, Grindr is not required to do anything when it comes to moderating drug-related content on its app. Like all websites and apps, the gay dating platform is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
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