JAPAN TIMES - May 23 - The government will no longer use the term "lifelong singles" as a label for people who have not married by age 50, deeming the term inaccurate as people are increasingly tying the knot later in life. The label has been used in annual white papers and statistics on the grounds that the fertility rate for women falls significantly when they enter their 50s. In 1985, under 5% of people were classified as unmarried before 50, but the figure rose above 20% for men and 10% for women in 2010. In 2015, the proportion of people who had not married by age 50 hit a record 23% for men and 14% for women.
ABC NEWS - May 23 - Many Americans have dated people with a different political affiliation, but that changed after the 2016 election, according to Match Group. In fact, in 2016, there was a period when Americans seemed less interested in dating in general. "For a couple weeks after the election, our traffic went down significantly," said Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg. "We saw our female traffic going down. It was a little bit worrisome because you need women on the apps," Ginsberg said. But over time things have gone back to normal. Ginsberg said that in general, people tend to date over political, socioeconomic, racial and educational divides. However, different apps within Match Group tend to attract people with certain political leanings. Tinder doesn't ask for any political affiliation information. PlentyofFish is considered more "red state" app, according to Ginsberg, OkCupid is a "blue state app."
TIMES OF INDIA - May 23 - Four Indian cities feature in the top 10 most frequented international destinations on Tinder Passport. Tinder Passport is an exclusive feature available only to Tinder Plus subscribers that let's one change location and connect with people anywhere around the world. One can search by city or drop a pin on the world map to start swiping.
PR NEWSWIRE - May 22 - The first-ever "Singles & Desirability" study by eharmony reveals those who seek a committed relationship are more desirable and more likely to be successful in their pursuit. Older millennials (77%) and Gen Xers (75%) both showed a stronger preference for serious relationships, more than other age groups. The survey results also identified some of the top professions people seek in potential partners: doctor/nurse, teacher/professor, veterinarian, firefighter/police. The study ranked attractiveness as only the 4th most desirable trait behind honesty (54%), kindness (44%), sense of humor (34%), and intelligence (29%).
REUTERS - May 22 - Early last year, Grindr's Chinese owner Beijing Kunlun Tech gave some Beijing-based engineers access to personal information of millions of Americans such as private messages and HIV status, prompting U.S. officials to ask it to sell the dating app. After taking full control of Grindr in January 2018, Beijing Kunlun Tech stepped up management changes and consolidated operations to cut costs and expand operations in Asia. In the process, some of the company's engineers in Beijing got access to the Grindr database for several months. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a government panel that scrutinizes foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies, worried that Grindr's database may include compromising information about personnel who work in military or intelligence. China's foreign ministry said it was aware of the situation with Grindr and urged the US to allow fair competition and not politicize economic issues. Grindr hired a cyber forensic firm and a third-party auditor at CFIUS’s behest to report on its compliance and to make sure the data was secure. Kunlun kept trying to salvage the Grindr deal until as recently as last week, when it said it would sell it by June next year.
DAILYMAIL.CO.UK - May 22 - Clémentine Lalande, 36, is the French founder of dating app Pickable. She claims the British dating scene is missing 'sparkle and magic' of the French. Lalande's app, Pickable, is designed to encourage what it describes as 'slow dating', getting users off the app, away from text exchanges and onto a real-life dates. However she noted British men appear to lack creativity when it comes to planning face-to-face encounters. She launched Pickable in France and the UK in November last year and it now has 1M active users, including 200K in the UK. The key to Pickable is that it gives women a greater sense of control over their online dating by keeping their identity anonymous. They can sign up on the app anonymously, without photos and any other details. Men, meanwhile, create a traditional profile, with a name, photo and bio. Women are able to scroll through men's profiles on the app and, when they land on a user they like, send them a message.
CHINA DAILY - May 21 - As the single population in China reached 240M, Chinese start going on blind dates at a younger age than before, according to a recent survey. 40% of the post-1995 generation already has experienced blind dates and 38% of Chinese singles are younger than 23 years old when they have their first blind date, according to survey by zhenai.com, an online dating platform.
FOX5NY - May 21 - The online dating sector is turning to artificial intelligence. Match.com in the UK launched Lara, an AI dating coach available on Google Home smart speakers and some Android devices. Users ask Lara for a match and can then ask for suggestions on what to say to or do with the person they're matched with. Dating app companies are trying to figure out how to satisfy their users, which is why they are trying AI. AIMM, a voice-activated dating app, launched last year and is being tested in Denver with about a thousand users. AIMM sets up dates, preps users before the first date, gives them advice, and checks in with both people to see how it went. And it even recommends whether they should continue to date or move on to someone else. Experts believe this is the future.
WALL STREET JOURNAL - May 21 - Match Group has teamed up with millennial digital brand Betches to create Ship, which was launched in January. Ship allows friends to vet potential mates for one another. On its first-quarter conference call in early May, Match said Ship is seeing strong engagement in big cities. The company said ~70% of registrations thus far are female and ~60% of matches are made by friends.
ADJUST.COM - May 21 - According to the latest annual "Adjust Global App Trends" report, video & streaming is the 4th fastest growing sector (the traffic was up 12.3% in 2008), followed by the online dating sector (traffic was up 11%). The Adjust Global App Trends Report examines data (from Jan 1, 2018, to Dec 31, 2018) across the top 1K performing apps. Download the report here.
BBC - May 21 - Taiwan's parliament has become the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. In 2017, the island's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to legally marry. Parliament was given a two-year deadline and was required to pass the changes by 24 May. Lawmakers debated three different bills to legalise same-sex unions and the government's bill, the most progressive of the three, was passed. It will take effect after Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen passes it into law.
BUSINESSWIRE - May 21 - Cointreau, the iconic orange liqueur at the heart of The Original Margarita recipe, and Bumble partner for Margarita Monday events. Happening across New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, and Chicago throughout the months of May and June, these events are promoted and available for sign-up in the Bumble app.
WASHINGTON POST - May 20 - Grindr has received backlash for one blunder after another. The Kunlun Group's buyout of Grindr raised alarm among intelligence experts that the Chinese government might be able to gain access to the Grindr profiles of American users. The app faced scrutiny after reports indicated the app had a security issue that could expose users' precise locations and their HIV status. Also, Scott Chen, the app's straight-identified president, may not fully support marriage equality. "It still feels like an app from 2009," says Brooks Robinson, a 27-year-old marketing professional in Washington." Robinson now prefers meeting people on Scruff. In the past several years, Grindr users have widely reported that spambots and spoofed accounts run rampant. "Grindr made stalking someone a little too easy," says Dave Sarrafian, a 33-year-old artist and barista in LA.
PR NEWSWIRE - May 17 - Dating.com Group, managed by SOL Networks, is an umbrella brand for ~15 brands, including Dating.com, Lovinga, Tubit and TripToghether. The company is looking to acquire dating companies in Asia and the U.S. Dating.com Group has offices in seven countries and a team of ~500 professionals with ~73M registered users across the entire portfolio.
GLOBE NEWSWIRE - May 15 - Bragar Eagel & Squire, announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased Momo Shares between April 21, 2015 and April 29, 2019. Investors have until July 15, 2019 to apply to the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. The complaint alleges that throughout the period, defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the company's business, operational and compliance policies.
STANDARD.CO.UK - May 16 - Justin McLeod founded Hinge after graduating from Harvard in 2011 and rebranded it three years ago, after a 14-year love story culminated in him winning back his now-wife, Kate. Hinge has since become the UK's fastest growing dating app. Now, a date is arranged between users every four seconds. For him, it's all about data. Users are invited to like parts of others' profiles, rather than the profile as a whole, which allows Hinge to "zero in" on their tastes. Instead of lining up 1K potential matches to "mindlessly" swipe through, it is "thoughtful" about who is shown to whom. A feature called Most Compatible uses a combination of AI and a Noble Prize-winning algorithm called Gale-Shapley (aka the "stable marriage algorithm") to send users daily match suggestions. The idea isn't that you're shown "the person you most want in the world" but "someone you like who's also going to like you back", McLeod explains. "A "We Met" feature follows up after the initial match to see if users went on a date and if so, how it went. So far, results have proven the new algorithm is eight times more likely to lead to a date than other apps," he says.
DAILYMAIL.CO.UK - May 16 - Toffee is a dating app aimed at privately educated singles. The app has already launched in the UK, and launches today in Australia. Founder Lydia Davis said the aim of her app is to connect people with 'similar backgrounds'. The app claims 30K active monthly users.
BLOOMBERG TAX - May 16 - San Francisco's eight-year-old tax break to encourage tech companies to locate in the city - a.k.a the "Twitter tax break" - is ending on May 20th. The tax break saved businesses $70M since San Francisco enacted it. The climate for tax giveways has changed dramatically, with emerging tech companies blamed for everything from rising housing prices to clogged city arteries. Over the last month the average San Francisco home price was $1.4M, up 1.7% from last year. That's nearly double the $665K median sales price in the Q1 of 2012. Online dating company Zoosk took advantage of the break in exchange for providing internships, $10K to a neighborhood nonprofit, and tutoring, in addition to patronizing local restaurants and bars, its agreement said.
THE SIASAT DAILY - May 15 - Blued, a gay dating app, has launched their first ever queer film making contest called Blued Queer Flicks. The contest will be followed by a screening scheduled to be taken place on June 8, 2019, in Delhi. ~60 entries have been received since the contest was launched in April. Out of the total received entries, there are 10 selected contestants whose short movies will be shown at the fest and the winners will be awarded the cash prizes and awards. The movies are based on queer themes, struggles, love, fun, education and social perception.