Dating app Grindr exposed user HIV statuses to at least two third-parties

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A popular gay hookup app has come under fire for sharing highly-sensitive user details with third-party companies. Used by more than 3.6 million men daily, Grindr has been handing over its users’ HIV status to at least two other companies, according to a report by BuzzFeed News. The app, which aims to facilitate safe hookups in the gay community, gives users the option to display their HIV status — including their “last tested date” — on a public profile as a means of active disclosure. This information is then shared with two companies: Apptimize and Localytics. Both, as best we…

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How Raya’s $8/month dating app turned exclusivity into trust

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

The swipe is where the similarity ends. Raya is less like Tinder and more like a secret society. You need a member’s recommendations or a lot of friends inside to join, and you have to apply with an essay question. It costs a flat $ 7.99 for everyone, women and celebrities included. You show yourself off with a video slideshow set to music of your choice. And it’s for professional networking as well as dating, with parallel profiles for each.

Launched in March 2015, Raya has purposefully flown under the radar. No interviews. Little info about the founders. Not even a profile on Crunchbase’s startup index. In fact, in late 2016 it quietly acquired video messaging startup Chime, led by early Facebooker Jared Morgenstern, without anyone noticing. He’d become Raya’s first investor a year earlier. But Chime was fizzling out after raising $ 1.2 million. “I learned the not everyone who leaves Facebook, their next thing turns to gold” Morgenstern laughs. So he sold it to Raya for equity and brought four of his employees to build new experiences for the app.

Now the startup’s COO, Morgenstern has agreed to give TechCrunch the deepest look yet at Raya, where the pretty, popular, and powerful meet each other.

 

Temptation Via Trust

Raya COO Jared Morgenstern

“Raya is a utility for introducing you to people who can change your life. Soho House uses physical space, we’re trying to use software” says Morgenstern, referencing the global network of members-only venues.

We’re chatting in a coffee shop in San Francisco. It’s an odd place to discuss Raya, given the company has largely shunned Silicon Valley in favor of building a less nerdy community in LA, New York, London, and Paris. The exclusivity might feel discriminatory for some, even if you’re chosen based on your connections rather than your wealth or race. Though people already self-segregate based on where they go to socialize. You could argue Raya just does the same digitally

Morgenstern refuses to tell me how much Raya has raised, how it started, or anything about its co-founder Mike McGuiness who owns LA public relations company the Co-Op Agency beyond that the team is a “Humble, focused group that prefers not to be part of the story.” But he did reveal some of the core tenets that have reportedly attracted celebrities like DJs Diplo and Skrillex, actors Elijah Wood and Amy Schumer, and musicians Demi Lovato and John Mayer, plus scores of Instagram models and tattooed creative directors.

Raya’s iOS-only app isn’t a swiping game for fun and personal validation. Its interface and curated community are designed to get you from discovering someone to texting if you’re both interested to actually meeting in person as soon as possible. Like at a top-tier university or night club, there’s supposed to be an in-group sense of comraderie that makes people more open to each other.

Then there are the rules.

“This is an intimate community with zero-tolerance for disrespect or mean-spirited behavior. Be nice to each other. Say hello like adults” says an interstitial screen that blocks use until you confirm you understand and agree every time you open the app. That means no sleazy pick-up lines or objectifying language. You’re also not allowed to screenshot, and you’ll be chastized with a numbered and filed warning if you do.

It all makes Raya feel consequential. You’re not swiping through infinite anybodies and sorting through reams of annoying messages. People act right because they don’t want to lose access. Raya recreates the feel of dating or networking in a small town, where your reputation follows you. And that sense of trust has opened a big opportunity where competitors like Tinder or LinkedIn can’t follow.

Self-Expression To First Impression

Until now, Raya showed you people in your city as well as around the world — which is a bit weird since it would be hard to ever run into each other. But to achieve its mission of getting you offline to meet people in-person, it’s now letting you see nearby people on a map when GPS says they’re at hotspots like bars, dancehalls, and cafes. The idea is that if you both swipe right, you could skip the texting and just walk up to each other.

“I’m not sure why Tinder and the other big meeting people apps aren’t doing this” says Morgenstern. But the answer seems obvious. It would be creepy on a big public dating app. Even other exclusive dating apps like The League that induct people due to their resume more than their personality might feel too unsavory for a map, since having gone to an Ivy League college doesn’t mean you’re not a jerk. Hell, it might make that more likely.

But this startup is betting that its vetted, interconnected, “cool” community will be excited to pick fellow Raya members out of the crowd to see if they have a spark or business synergy.

That brings Raya closer to the holy grail of networking apps where you can discover who you’re compatible with in the same room without risking the crash-and-burn failed come-ons. You can filter by age and gender when browsing social connections, or by “Entertainment & Culture”, “Art & Design”, and “Business & Tech” buckets for work. And through their bio and extended slideshows of photos set to their favorite song, you get a better understanding of someone than from just a few profile pics on other apps.

Users can always report people they’ve connected with if they act sketchy, though with the new map feature I was dismayed to learn they can’t yet report people they haven’t seen or rejected in the app. That could lower the consequences for finding someone you want to meet, learning a bit about them, but then approaching without prior consent. However, Morgenstern insists.”The real risk is the density challenge”.

Finding Your Tribe

Raya’s map doesn’t help much if there are no other members for 100 miles. The company doesn’t restrict the app to certain cities, or schools like Facebook originally did to beat the density problem. Instead it relies on the fact that if you’re in the middle of nowhere you probably don’t have friends on it to pull you in. Still, that makes it tough for Raya to break into new locales.

But the beauty of the business is that since all users pay $ 7.99 per month, it doesn’t need that many to earn plenty of money. And at less than the price of a cocktail, the subscription deters trolls without being unaffordable. Morgenstern says “The most common reason to stop your subscription: I found somebody.” That ‘success = churn’ equation drags on most dating apps. Since Raya has professional networking as well though, he says some people still continue the subscription even after they find their sweetheart.

“I’m happily in a relationship and I’m excited to use maps” Morgenstern declares. In that sense, Raya wants to expand those moments in life when you’re eager and open to meet people, like the first days of college. “At Raya we don’t think that’s something that should only happen when you’re single or when you’re twenty or when you move to a new city.”

The bottomless pits of Tinder and LinkedIn can make meeting people online feel haphazard to the point of exhaustion. We’re tribal creatures who haven’t evolved ways to deal with the decision paralysis and the anxiety caused by the paradox of choice. When there’s infinite people to choose from, we freeze up, or always wonder if the next one would have been better than the one we picked. Maybe we need Raya-like apps for all sorts of different subcultures beyond the hipsters that dominate its community, as I wrote in my 2015’s piece “Rise Of The Micro-Tinders”. But if Raya’s price and exclusivity lets people be both vulnerable and accountable, it could forge a more civil way to make a connection.

Mobile – TechCrunch

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, is suing dating app Bumble for patent infringement

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Match Group wants to buy Bumble. Now it’s also suing Bumble.

Match Group, the online dating company that owns services like Tinder and Match.com, wants to buy Bumble, another popular dating app that lets women make the first move.

But Match may be trying to push the deal along in an unconventional way: A new patent infringement lawsuit filed late Friday in U.S. District court in Waco, Texas.

Match Group is suing Bumble, which was founded by one of Tinder’s co-founders, for infringing on two of its patents, including a design patent for Tinder’s now-famous swipe-to-connect feature, according to the suit.

Match also claims that early Bumble executives Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick, who both previously worked at Tinder, stole “confidential information related to proposed Tinder features,” including the idea for a feature that lets users go back if they accidentally skip someone, according to the suit.

A Match Group spokesperson sent Recode the following statement.

Match Group has invested significant resources and creative expertise in the development of our industry-leading suite of products. We are committed to protecting the intellectual property and proprietary data that defines our business. Accordingly, we are prepared when necessary to enforce our patents and other intellectual property rights against any operator in the dating space who infringes upon those rights.

Representatives from Bumble could not immediately be reached for comment.

Tech companies file patent infringement lawsuits all the time — BlackBerry just sued Facebook for patent infringement last week.

But Match, Tinder and Bumble have a long and interesting history.

Most recently, Match made an offer to buy Bumble last summer for $ 450 million, according to TechCrunch. One source tells Recode that Match is still interested in acquiring Bumble, which means this lawsuit may very well be a bargaining chip — albeit an unfriendly one. The easiest way to make it a patent infringement suit go away would be to join the company that owns the patent.

Some complicated early history: Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd was also a co-founder at Tinder before she filed her own lawsuit against Tinder for alleged sexual harassment in 2014. Herd also claimed in the suit that she was stripped of her co-founder title because then-CEO Sean Rad told her “having a young female co-founder ‘makes the company seem like a joke.’”

She ultimately settled the suit for “approximately $ 1 million,” according to Forbes.

Since its founding in late 2014, Bumble has established itself as a serious player in the world of online dating. The service uses a similar swipe-to-match feature as Tinder, but requires women to send the first message. Bumble has more than 22 million users and was on pace for more than $ 100 million in revenue in 2017, according to Forbes.

Badoo, another dating service owned by Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev, is Bumble’s majority owner, with a 79 percent stake. CNBC reported in January that Badoo had hired JP Morgan to help it find a potential buyer for the whole company. Presumably, Badoo and its other dating services would be included in any deal for Bumble.


Recode – All

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Zoosk relaunches dating app Lively as a way to meet new people while playing trivia games

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Hoping to capitalize on the popularity of trivia applications like HQ Trivia, dating app maker Zoosk has just released an experimental app that combines trivia with the potential for meeting someone new. The app is a relaunch and complete makeover of Zoosk’s Lively, which first debuted in July 2016 as a dating app that used video to tell stories, instead of static profile images.

The new version of Lively is nothing like its former namesake.

As Zoosk explains, the previous version of Lively’s group video chat app was fun, but people didn’t know how to connect and relate to one another using the video format. It felt awkward to start conversations, with no reason to be there besides wanting to date.

The company went back to the drawing board, so to speak, to think about what sort of experiences could bring people together. Trivia, naturally, came to mind.

Lively aims to reproduce the feeling that comes with competing at a bar trivia night. When you join, you’re placed in a group video chat team of two to four people. Together, the team works to answer a series of 12 questions while discussing the answers over video in real-time. When they finish the questions, they’ll be able to see how their scores compared with other teams.

The “dating” component to the app isn’t quite what you would expect. In fact, it’s less of a way to find a date for a night out, than it is to just make new friends. After the game wraps, you’ll have the option to continue chatting with the other players, if you choose. You can also add people as a friend, if you hit it off.

And when trivia isn’t in session – the games run twice daily at 3 PM and 7 PM PST – you can group video chat with others on Lively.

Because you’re not added to a team with nearby players, your ability to make friends who are also possible real-life dating prospects is decidedly limited. That’s something that Lively could change to support in time, if it’s able to grow its user base. But for now, it needs to match users with any live players in order to fill out its teams.

It’s understandable why it went this route, but it doesn’t lend itself well to meeting someone special – unless you’re open to meeting people anywhere (which some are), or are fine with just making new friends and seeing where that leads.

Unlike HQ Trivia, which features live streams with a host, Lively is just group video chat with a trivia component. That means it won’t be as challenging for Zoosk to operate, as it doesn’t have to worry with bandwidth issues and other costs of putting on a live game show. Also, because there are no prizes or payouts, you can join anytime during the 30-minute gaming session to be placed into a team and play along.

Lively is not the first app to support a group video chat interface where gameplay is an option. A number of video chat apps over the years have integrated games into their experience, including older apps like Tango or Google+ Hangouts, Line, and more recently, Facebook Messenger. But none have integrated games for the purpose of facilitating new relationships.

Zoosk today has 38 million members, but wanted to find a way to reach a younger demographic, which is why it originally launched Lively. The app was the first product to emerge from Zoosk’s in-house incubator, Zoosk Labs, where the company experiments with new ideas to expand its core business.

Whether or not Zoosk can turn trivia players into love connections remains to be seen, but it’s interesting how HQ Trivia’s success has led to this wider market full of knock-offs (e.g. Genius, Joyride, Cash Show, The Q, TopBuzz, Live Quiz, Live.me, Halftime Live!, Jam Music, etc.) and other tweaks that follow its idea of live trivia games.

Lively is available on iOS only for now.

Mobile – TechCrunch

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

This dating site matches people based on their shared use of awful passwords

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND


It’s never been easier to find a partner who sucks at picking passwords as bad as you do. Words of Heart is a dating site that will match you to other people who use the same password you do. It’s also not a real thing. I mean, it is. But it’s also not. The site works as intended, and does indeed pair you to other individuals using the same password as you. But it’s less about finding love, and more a thoughtful bit of social commentary that surfaced on Twitter last week and left the infosec world scratching their heads.…

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Nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like a ‘Black Mirror’ dating app

So, it's Valentine's Day, and what better time to check on the potential end date of your romantic relationship? It's easy to do over at coach.dating, a fun little web app based on the dating AI, Coach, that manages dating relationships in the Black…
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Tested: Hater, the dating app with a difference

If you’ve tried dating apps, you’ll know that most try to match people based on shared interests. Hater does things a bit differently…

Created by former Goldman Sachs banker Brendan Alper, Hater offers up topics, usually in the form of a gif, which you decide if you hate or not. They’ll then match you up based on your selected “hates” and the rest could be history.

Hater currently has a whole host of randoms topics including Boston Terriers, bubble baths, the sound of filing nails and even YouTube stars. Like Bumble and Tinder users swipe through the topics choosing either right or left depending if they like it or hate it and can skip altogether if no preference.

The app will then find your most compatible matches, giving you the option to see, in detail, what they like and hate. You can even choose if the app searches locally or across the world…

The rest is up to you, if you fancy giving it a go download Hater from the Google Play Store, happy swiping!

If you’re in a relationship and want to know if Hater would have matched you and your SO, ask yourself… how would you feel about their answers to the below:

Love or hate?

– Sudoku
– Eating straight from the fridge
– Will Ferrell
– The beach
– When someone you hate makes a joke
– Big cities
– Harley Quinn
– Community
– Pet sitting
– Thunderstorms

Have you used your smartphone to find love? Post your stories in the comments below…

 

The post Tested: Hater, the dating app with a difference appeared first on Sony Xperia Blog.

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Best dating apps for Valentine’s Day

Looking for love or companionship this Valentine’s Day? Check out these apps!

Valentine’s Day probably isn’t the best day for a first date if you hold any regard for the greeting card holiday. There’s a lot of pressure. That being said, if you don’t want to spend the day alone, consider thesr apps to help you find some love, a friend, or a little somethin’ somethin’ wink wink, nudge nudge.

Meeting: Tinder, Grindr, and HER

Whether you’re looking for a quick fling or hoping to strike up something more substantial, you’ve got to meet new people. Tinder —which also offers an Apple Watch app—lets you and others anonymously express interest in each other, and if and when a match occurs, lets you make contact and see what happens. Grindr focuses specifically on the gay and male bisexual community, and HER on the lesbian and female bisexual community. Whoever and whatever you’re looking for, one of them will suit your desires.

Dating: POF (Plenty of Fish), OKCupid

At some point, you may not want to meet just someone, but the one. There’s not an app in the ‘verse that can guarantee that, of course, but there are some that focus less on the hookup and more on the matchup. You’re still playing the odds, but hopefully they get stacked a little more in your favor. OKCupid—which offers an Apple Watch app—is a classic, and for a reason. If you’re just starting out, it’s also an OK place to start. Plenty of Fish, on the other hand, has over 50 million members and a lot of features to help you meet the right one, in the right place, at the right time.

Messaging: Snapchat, Wickr Me

Communication is vital to intimacy — not the general banter we engage in every day and often barely listen to, but the flirting, the sharing of hopes and dreams, secrets and desires—the things we would only every share with each other. Snapchat is what pretty much everyone uses these days for ephemeral messaging. Wickr Me is relatively similar to Snapchat, in that you can send messages, pictures, video, and files, but the sender has total control, so if you want to delete a message at any time, you can, and there isn’t anything the recipient can do about it.

Dining: Foursquare and OpenTable

Casual or candle-lit, fast or fine, classic or fusion, trendy or timeless, there are all kinds of restaurants for all kinds of occasions. If it’s a first encounter, maybe you want a coffee or pastry shop to keep things light and informal. If it’s a budding romance, maybe you want someplace that’ll help stoke the fires. If it’s a getaway from your everyday, maybe you want someplace that’ll let you fall in love all over again. The updated iOS 10 Maps app is great for finding local fare. For more, Foursquare—and its Apple Watch app—offers the best social recommendations. And once you find the perfect place, OpenTable—also with an Apple Watch app—can help make sure you get a reservation. (OpenTable even integrates with Siri and Maps, which makes it quick and easy to start the process.)

Getting away: HotelTonight

If you live with family or roommates, finding time and space to be alone together can be tough. If you have kids, finding time and space to be alone together can be almost impossible. Yet that’s the very thing that takes your relationship to the next level, or helps you get back to that level. If you have a little extra cash, if you can arrange for someone to watch the kids, HotelTonight—and its Apple Watch app—can help you find a room for a get-away or even an oasis right near home. And it’ll even let you book with ApplePay!

Your favorites?

What iPhone apps will you be turning to for love this year?

Updated February 2018: These are the best apps to help you snag a date, friend, or romantic rendezvous this Valentine’s Day!

iMore – Learn more. Be more.

Dating app shows singles care less about Valentine’s Day than ever


The dating app Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) recently conducted a survey of its users to see what they were planning for Valentine’s Day. The respondents relaxed, even dismissive response is, according to the app’s creators, indicative of a change in cultural norms. Of the 654 respondents, 235 said they considered Valentine’s Day “just another Hallmark holiday.” 474 said they felt no pressure to date on Valentine’s Day, and 295 said they didn’t plan on celebrating. In each case, those opinions were the majority. CMB co-founder Dawoon Kang told TNW the more laissez-faire attitude towards dating is a relatively recent development.…

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