The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Germany's ProSieben (Parship) Acquires eHarmony
REUTERS - Oct 29 - Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 Media has bought eHarmony, in the first significant deal since it carved out a new e-commerce joint venture with General Atlantic. eHarmony expects 2.8 million new users this year, and complements ProSieben's own Parship dating franchise which is the market leader in Germany. Terms were not disclosed. Parship and sister brand Elite Partner, count 2 million registrations a year. eHarmony has brand awareness of nearly 90% and a very big user base that can be served better from a common platform. ProSieben is pushing to diversify away from its core commercial TV franchise, where ad revenues are flat and the sector is being disrupted by streaming platforms like Netflix. The Munich-based broadcaster bought eharmony via its newly created Nucom division, in which investor General Atlantic took a 24.9% stake in February. Nucom owns 94% of Parship. eharmony raised $113 million in two funding rounds. Most recently in 2004, Tuputele Ventures, TCV, Sequoia Capital and Fayez Sarofim & Co. eHarmony CEO Grant Langston will continue to run the business while representatives of Parship will join its board.
Tinder Seeks Arbitration In Ex-Worker's Sex Harassment Suit
LAW360 - Oct 25 - Tinder asked a California federal judge on Wednesday to force a former employee to arbitrate her claims accusing the company of sexual harassment, arguing that she signed a binding arbitration agreement while she worked there. Elizabeth Sanfilippo was a brand marketing manager at Tinder from Sep 2016 to July 2017 when she says she was fired after experiencing sexual harassment. She filed suit against Tinder in August. But Tinder said the lawsuit is not appropriate, citing a mutual arbitration agreement that Sanfilippo signed in Jan 2017 while still an employee at Tinder after the company was acquired by Match. Tinder said Sanfilippo was fired for "legitimate, business and non-discriminatory reasons."
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Badoo To Help Solve Ghosting Problem
COSMPOLITAN - Oct 25 - Dating app Badoo is introducing a new feature to curb ghosting as painlessly as possible. The app will now offer pre-existing responses to users who might've accidentally ghosted on their matches. After three days of not responding, the app will give them a gentle reminder to check back in. With one tap they can let others know they're still interested. If you're no longer interested, there are also a variety of polite responses they can send instead. The feature is currently being tested in Europe and will soon roll out for testing stateside before launching for everyone early next year.
Dutch Tinder Rival The Inner Circle To Launch VIP Subscription
SILICON CANALS - Oct 25 - The Inner Circle lately won the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 awards this year for showing a consistent four-year growth. The Inner Circle is planning to launch a new VIP subscription very soon. Up until now, users in The Inner Circle used to get a match when they would like each other. With the new VIP subscription, they can find the people who liked them, find out who's interested and can make an instant matching connection. The VIP subscription also has a feature called 'Ghost Mode', where people can go online, but it doesn't show that they're online. The startup has already done beta testing and has high hopes, the new feature would be a hit.
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The CEO Of Hinge Sometimes Goes 2 Weeks Without Checking On His Team
BUSINESS INSIDER - Oct 27 - Hinge founder and CEO Justin McLeod doesn't have email on his smartphone. He said it makes him a better leader because he has time and space to think. The only things he can currently do with his phone are check the time, make calls and send texts, listen to music, and browse Hinge. "I'm a much better decision-maker, I'm a much better strategist, I'm a much better leader when I'm not wrapped up in the minutia of what's going on in the company and what's going on in the world," McLeod told Business Insider. "I'm giving myself the space." When he takes vacations, he doesn't check in with his staff for "a week or two at a time." In fact, McLeod made the decision to "reboot" Hinge, in 2016, while he was away from the office and spending Thanksgiving with his family. With the time and space to think clearly, he realized that Hinge had become too similar to other dating apps. Hinge subsequently made a number of changes to the app, most notably removing the swiping feature. Today, it bills itself as "the relationship app."
Facebook Spotted To Be Testing A Gender Inclusive Category On Its Dating App
TECH2 - Oct 28 - Facebook Dating is said to be available within the company's mobile app, but not on the desktop as of now. A new update has been discovered now. Facebook seems to have added a number of options in its gender section. It has the option of Woman, Trans Woman, Man, Trans Man and something peculiar called 'Non-Binary and/or Two-spirit'. This move shows Facebook Dating's inclusivity of all genders.
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Coffee Meets Bagel Meets Redis Labs To Solve Performance Challenges
PR NEWSWIRE - Oct 23 - Dating app Coffee Meets Bagel has turned to Redis Enterprise to dramatically improve its app performance and smoothly scale operations as the company expands internationally and experiences massive user base grows. Redis Labs is the home of Redis, the world's most popular in-memory database, and commercial provider of Redis Enterprise that delivers superior performance, matchless reliability and unparalleled flexibility for personalization, machine learning, IoT, search, eCommerce, social and metering solutions worldwide.
Cove, A Dating App For Those Looking To Disassociate From Hookup Culture
PR NEWSWIRE - Oct 23 - Cove, a new dating app launching this October, focuses on motivating and advancing deeper conversation to uncover chemistry. The word Cove is derived from the "co" of "conversation," and the "ve" from "love" (COnversation + loVE = COVE). Cove requires interested users to apply for membership, rather than allowing just anyone to join. Some people are verified via LinkedIn, while the more creative professionals, who might not have a LinkedIn account, will be verified via Instagram. Once verified, male users can invite women to #MeetInTheCove. Men have a limited amount of invites they can send out. If a woman accepts an invite, text messages can be sent and received through the app. Once 7 texts have been exchanged, both sides must agree within 48h to move the conversation to voice messages (Level 2). Level 2 allows for 3 voice messages to be exchanged, while temporarily removing texting. After three voice messages are exchanged, it's time for video messages (Level 3). Level 3 is complete after one video message is exchanged. If these three levels of communication are not completed within 10 days, the match disappears forever.
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