The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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Paktor Parent M17 Entertainment Officially Withdraws US IPO
DEAL STREET ASIA - July 1 - Taiwan-based M17 Entertainment, the parent company of Singapore-based dating and networking app Paktor, has officially withdrawn its IPO in the US, a month after suspending its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The press statement did not mention the reasons for M17's decision to cancel its IPO, which had initially aimed to raise a total of $115M.
Grindr Sets Up Office In Taiwan
E27 - July 18 - "Taiwan is the first nation in Asia to legalize gay marriage," said the Grindr's CTO Scott Chen Jun-yang, who will head Grindr's office in Taiwan. The company, which has 40M registered users worldwide, has just opened an office in the Xinyi Breeze Center. Chen is currently recruiting software engineers.
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The Meet Group Rolls Out Live Video In Germany On LOVOO
PRESS RELEASE - July 18 - "With LOVOO Live now rolling out in Germany, we have completed the rollout of live video on all of our major apps," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. The Meet Group's annualized video revenue run rate now exceeds $35M based on June's results, up 20% in two months.
You Can Now Use Bitmoji To Flirt On Tinder
MASHABLE - July 17 - Tinder is beginning to roll out Bitmoji integration to users in the US and Canada. With the change, Tinder users who are also on Snapchat can connect the two apps in order to bring their Bitmoji stickers to Tinder's in-app chat.
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Global App Revenue Surpasses $34B During H1 2018
PHONE ARENA - July 17 - During the first six months of 2018, global app revenues saw a YOY increase of 27.8%, reaching a total of $34.4B. 65% of it came from the App Store, with its total sales reaching $22.6B during the period. For comparison, over the same period in 2017, Apple generated $17.8B in revenue through App purchases, that's up 26.8% so far this year. Google Play Store saw YOY growth of 30% during the period to $11.8B.
OkCupid 'DTF' Campaign Boosted Buzz 50%
ADWEEK - July 21 - Created by Wieden + Kennedy New York under the brand's first CMO, Melissa Hobley, the ads recast DTF (typically meant as a derogatory term for women who are "down to f$%k") into new interpretations that represent what single people might really be looking for in a relationship - "Down to Farmer's Market" or "Down to Feel Fabulous." The campaign has boosted social mentions of OkCupid by 50%. But not all the ads have been welcome everywhere, and in fact the entire campaign was rejected outright by the Chicago Transit Authority. "We certainly knew we would not be able to run every execution in every market. What surprised us was that certain huge vendors, outlets and agencies rejected the campaign completely," Hobley says. "We ran this campaign in a number of cities in Q1 of 2018, and the response was phenomenal. We saw the needle move, we saw people talking about it - young women especially."
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Discovery Partners With Tinder To Help Promote Shark Week 2018
ADWEEK - July 17 - Discovery has lined up several new and returning partnerships for its biggest Shark Week yet, as the franchise celebrates its 30th anniversary. One of the new partners is Tinder. The dating app joins Equinox and Lyft as the new brands partnering for Shark Week 2018, which runs from July 22-29, along with several returning marketers, including Southwest, Great Clips, Georgetown Cupcake, Oceana, MLB Network and Live Love Polish. Discovery worked with Tinder to create five Shark Week-branded profile cards that will be live in the dating app from July 10-29. Those cards will feature different sharks, who will give advice on finding Shark Week dates and how to help save sharks around the world.
The App Inclov Changing The Dating Scene For India's Disabled People
BBC - July 18 - In India, people with disabilities are often invisible in day-to-day life, despite numbering tens of millions. The country is notoriously disability-unfriendly, in terms of infrastructure, attitudes and policy. Many families who have children with disabilities rarely take them out in public, as it is seen as a source of stigma and shame. Dating app Inclov gives people with disabilities more opportunities to &^%$#$^. The idea for Inclov was born after Shankar Srinivasan and Kalyani Khona decided they wanted to "do something in the matchmaking space" and realised very quickly that no-one was thinking about people with disabilities. They began with an "offline" agency called Wanted Umbrella which evolved into a static site and then a mobile app. They raised money through a crowdfunding campaign where they were able to raise 615k rupees (Ł6,976; $8,998) to hire an app developer. They have carried out ~50 other events in cities across India, including Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Jaipur. The last event had ~50 people in attendance.
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