The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
- iDate Dating Industry Conference in London October 11-12, 2018
- iDate Dating Industry Conference in Miami January 31 - February 1, 2019https://idate2018.com/
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:~ TOP ONLINE PERSONALS WATCH NEWS ~:
Grindr IPO Plans Shine Light On China LGBT Acceptance
BUSINESS TIMES - Sep 7 - Grindr is planning an IPO overseas. Grindr owner, Beijing Kunlun Technology, did not publicize where or when the IPO will take place. The LGBT community continues to thrive in China. Rela is one of the most popular social networking platforms that cater to the LGBT community in China. During its peak, the platform had ~5M registered users. Blued, the country's second-largest social network for the LGBT community claims to have 27M registered users. Based on the latest data, the Chinese LGBT population currently stands between 70M to 90M. The Chinese LGBT community has an annual purchasing power that stands at a massive $938B in 2017 alone.
Tinder Launches Its Curated 'Top Picks' Feature Worldwide
TECH CRUNCH - Sep 11 - Earlier this summer, Tinder began testing a new feature that surfaces a curated list of users' best potential matches, called "Top Picks." The feature, which is only available to paying subscribers on Tinder Gold, is now available worldwide. The idea behind Top Picks seems a bit inspired by the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel. While Top Picks will refresh daily, users can opt to buy more Top Picks in packs of 10, 20 or 30 a la carte.
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Gay Dating App Chappy Relaunches With 'Zero Tolerance For Abuse'
GAYSTAR NEWS - Sep 11 - Gay dating and social connection app Chappy has introduced a new design. Previously, users could say whether they were seeking 'Mr Right' or 'Mr Right Now'. 'Cute' and 'Sexy' moods now respectively replace those two options. Ollie Locke (of Made in Chelsea fame), Jack Rogers and Max Cheremkhin originally founded the app. Backing comes from dating app Badoo, with advisory backing from Whitney Wolfe Herd. Last month, Chappy announced Locke and Rogers were stepping down. Succeeding them is Sam Dumas as Global Head of Brand. Chappy says it will now have, 'zero tolerance for abuse or bullying of any kind.' Users reported for violating Chappy's terms and conditions risk a permanent ban from the app.
A third-party App Can Use Grindr To Expose Users' Exact Locations
ENGADGET - Sep 14 - According to a new investigation by Queer Europe, Grindr can still expose people's personal data through a third-party app called "Fuckr," which was released in 2015 and can locate up to 600 Grindr users within minutes. The free third party app is built on top of Grindr's private API, giving it access to the gay dating app's database. It uses a technique called "trilateration" to find users, allowing anyone with access to it a way to follow people around as they go about their day.
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Lumen Is 'Tinder For Seniors' And It Just Launched
FORBES - Sep 16 - Lumen is the latest venture in Andrey Andreev's career with co-founders, Antoine Argouges and Charly Lester. Over-50's are Lumen's desired clientele. Andreev sees a massive mobile market for Lumen; he has invested +$4.5M in the app. All members are required to upload a selfie as part of the verification process, and an algorithm authenticates this against the other profile images provided. A nice touch and a tragic sign of the times and issues with online dating. Lumen uses AI and must have a minimum of three images on a profile. Lumen is available now on iOS and Android in the UK only but will be available internationally soon.
The Meet Group Joins Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation To Help Children Fight Cancer
PRESS RELEASE - Sep 7 - The Meet Group is partnering with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) by releasing a special edition virtual gift to users on its MeetMe, Skout and Tagged mobile apps. ALSF is a national childhood cancer foundation dedicated to helping children with cancer. Founded in 2005, ALSF was started by Jay and Liz Scott. After the passing of their daughter, the Scotts vowed to raise money to help doctors find a cure. The Meet Group plans to make a donation for every Alex's Lemonade gift sent in the apps up to $10K to ALSF. The limited edition gift will be available from September 7 through September 21.
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Love Life Outsourced
WORLD MAGAZINE - Sep 13 - Talia Goldstein quit her job as a producer for E! Entertainment and started her own matchmaking company in LA in 2010. She started charging people $250 for three matches, then increased it to $500 as demand grew. When she hosted her first matchmaking party, she had 20 attendees. Two months later, she had 300, and soon 600. In 2013, Goldstein launched Three Day Rule (TDR). Today, TDR employs 50 matchmakers in 10 metropolitan areas. TDR's services start at $4,500 and can hike beyond $35,000 for the VIP package. Goldstein says ~70% of TDR's clients are in a relationship by the end of their contract. Half of the matchmaker's job involves coaching clients on how to date well. Julie Ferman, a matchmaker in Los Angeles and Santa Fe, N.M., has worked in the dating industry since 1990. She says she used to be able to count on men to call women to plan a date, but now she has to arrange the first date for her clients, from coordinating schedules to making reservations.
Scientists Develop An AI Bot That Can Write Tinder Bios
MIRROR.CO.UK - Sep 14 - US company GetCenturyLink decided to use its neural network to generate a set of profiles. It fed in 500 existing Tinder profiles and asked the computer to produce 50 new ones. While the results in this experiment were horrific, it's perfectly possible that a well-written AI could produce much better results. Especially if it was fed data about one person, rather than 500 Internet randoms. And Tinder is a big believer in the technology in general.
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