REUTERS - Sep 17 - Tinder has wrapped filming on its first television series. Making new shows is part of a larger strategy that will be revealed in the near future. The multi-episode series centers on an "apocalyptic" storyline and includes a relationship sub plot. It was filmed in Mexico City in late August. Offering original content is an increasingly popular strategy for the technology and retail industries. The strategy seeks to engage users on a deeper level even when they are not using the service.
TECH CRUNCH - Sep 17 - Apple is changing how subscriptions work on its App Store. Before, any lapse in payment could cut off the customer from being able to use the app's subscription-based features and make it more difficult for the developer to reacquire the customer. Now, developers will have the option to instead offer a "grace period" for auto-renewable subscriptions, which gives Apple more time to collect payment on the developer's behalf. The new Grace Period, which is opt-in, not opt-out on the developer's part, is enabled from App Store Connect, where developers manage their apps.
INDIANWEB2 - Sep 16 - Bumble has launched its first APAC Bumble Bizz pitch competition that will award women-founded businesses across the Asia Pacific region $5K grants to help them establish their companies. The competition will run in Australia, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, the Philippines and Singapore, the six APAC markets in which Bumble currently operates, with one winner chosen from each country. The inaugural APAC Bumble Bizz Summit will take place in Sydney on October 10, 2019. Applications for the APAC Bumble Bizz pitch competition are now open through Sep 27, 2019.
OUT.COM - Sep 16 - A new study shows that racism on dating apps does real harm to mental health. The research is the result of a survey of ~1K men on Grindr. Researchers learned that race-based sexual discrimination was significantly associated with lower self-esteem and, in turn, lower life satisfaction. The data suggest that Latino, Middle Eastern, Indigenous/Pacific Islander, and multiracial participants experience significantly less discrimination than Asian and South Asian participants, which is consistent with other studies.
EMARKETER - Sep 12 - Facebook Dating launched in the US last week. Though the dating app space is crowded, Facebook has an opportunity to set itself apart by simplifying setting up a profile. Jonathan Kay, founder of app analytics platform Apptopia, explains that Facebook Dating can solve this huge barrier to entry by making dating a 'ne-click' experience. ~65% of people who download dating apps like Tinder or Bumble delete the app on the same day they download it or never end up using it, according to August 2019 data from Apptopia. But Facebook's seamless experience could come at a cost for users. It will be able to gather even more user information that is likely more timely, relevant and intimate. If Facebook can curate user experiences in a meaningful way, it'll likely attract at least a portion of the 29% of smartphone users who will use a dating app this year. Up 5.3% YOY, dating app users will eclipse 25M in 2019, and is expected to increase to 28M by 2022.
OPW - Sep 13 - We protect sources. We're looking for insider news and tips. Got something interesting? We will not share your contact information with anyone. We respect embargoes, and we absolutely will honor your privacy. Send your news directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BLOOMBERG - Sep 12 - VKontakte, Russia's largest social network run by Mail.ru Group, is starting its own dating app Lovina centered around quick videochats. Lovina is also using AI to protect users from explicit content. To avoid privacy breaches, Lovina also has a separate user profile from the VKontakte social network. Lovina will be free, with no advertising, and aims to earn on in-app services such as promoting a user's profile or getting access to a list of people who liked your profile for more than 48 hours, known as "love potion."
FINANCIAL TIMES - Sep 12 - Some dating apps are already using AI to analyse chats and encourage users to set up dates. "We're only just beginning to see what can be achieved through virtual reality,' says Prof Adrian Cheok, director of the Imagineering Institute research project. "Vision and hearing are the easiest senses to replicate. The coming challenges are taste, touch and smell." Devices that incorporate these senses are already being tested. The "Kissenger", developed by Prof Cheok and PhD student Emma Yann Zhang, allows users to kiss from anywhere in the world via an interactive silicon lip. Investors have shown some interest in taking the product to market. In Japan, demand for robotic companions to combat loneliness has grown. Last summer, Saijo city offered the PaPeRo I (Partner-type-Personal-Robot), developed by NEC, to a small number of elderly residents for free. PaPeRos roam around homes, striking up conversations and offering personalised greetings, jokes and reminders about calendar events.
OPW - Sep 12 - The new Internet dating jobs listing is live on the Internet Dating Jobs blog.
Below see a couple of this month's most interesting offers:
Vice President, Digital Acquisition
To see more open positions go here.
Do you have an idating industry job offer which is not included? Please, send it to email@example.com and we will add it to the list.
TECH CRUNCH - Sep 11 - That Apple has used its App Store to offer itself a competitive advantage is nothing new. Apple displayed its apps in the No. 1 position on the Top Charts, for example, or banned apps that competed with iOS features or positioned its apps higher than competitors in search. Now, in the wake of antitrust investigations in the U.S. and abroad, as well as various anti-competitive lawsuits, Apple has adjusted the App Store's algorithm so fewer of its own apps would appear at the top of the search results.
CNBC - Sep 11 - Bumble is an app that matches users with potential love interests as well as platonic friends and professional connections. Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble, joins "Squawk Box" to discuss the online dating space and the launch of Facebook Dating in the U.S.
INVESTORPLACE - Sep 11 - Match Group will no longer enjoy the absence of competition in the online dating market. But users might express skepticism over Facebook Dating safety. On July 24 Facebook agreed to a $5B settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. This amount represents 9% of its 2018 revenue. The company generated revenue of $16.9B in Q2 2019 alone. Investors who forecast a ~20% CAGR in a 5-year DCF growth exit model will arrive at a fair value of $196-$273 for Facebook stock. At a 9.5% discount rate, the implied fair value is $228. Per Simplywall.St, FB stock is ~20% discounted from its future cash flow and has plenty of upside for shareholders ahead. Facebook continues to attract healthy advertising spending. It faces no immediate competition from other social networking sites, either. Investors will do well holding or accumulating FB stock at current levels.
YOURSTORY - Sep 11 - Indian dating app GoGaga was incubated as part of the 2018 FbStart programme. It is now targeting $500K in revenue with a 35% profit margin. The app was started by Neha Kanodia and Meet Kanodia in 2018 in Bengaluru, and is similar to meeting people offline, replaces a common intermediate with a trustworthy mutual friend who makes the introduction, and vouches for the connection. The GoGaga team is six-members strong with the app claiming ~40K users, of which over 30% were brought in through word-of-mouth. In September 2018, GoGaga got shortlisted to be a part of the FbStart programme, which is an incubation programme from Facebook designed to help early-stage mobile startups build and grow their apps. The app received $40K from Facebook.
PRESS RELEASE - Sep 10 - Yoti, the digital identity app with 5M downloads, has partnered with DateID, a new US based dating verification platform to create a safer and more transparent community of online daters. DateID gives individuals a quick way to verify that the people they meet on dating sites are representing themselves accurately. DateID will use links to social media profiles and identity verification with Yoti; which gives them Gold status, the highest level of verification. Yoti transforms ID documents and biometrics into a digital identity.
INSIDER - Sep 10 - Paul Keable, the chief strategy officer at Ashley Madison, sees Facebook Dating, as well as other dating platforms like Tinder and Bumble, as competition for his service. The app duplicates Facebook profile but removes users existing relationship status, meaning, like any dating app, users could easily join behind their partner's back. Additionally, Facebook Dating doesn't match people with any of their existing Facebook friends, meaning there's a lower risk than with some other dating apps that they could get caught by their partner's single friends who are also on the app.
FAST COMPANY - Sep 8 - Whitney Wolfe Herd wants to "change thousands of years of behavior" between men and women. "We're not one of our competitors that's just trying to hook people up," she says. Bumble claims ~66M users in 150 countries and reportedly anticipates $300M in 2019 revenue. There are rumors that it is eyeing an IPO or accepting a significant capital infusion from a private-equity firm. Bumble's culture is reinforced by the many friends and former sorority sisters that Wolfe Herd recruited to the company, including head of brand Alex Williamson, VP of marketing Chelsea Cain Maclin, chief creative marketing officer Samantha Fulgham, and chief of staff Caroline Ellis Roche. In late 2017, the Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra was sitting next to Wolfe Herd at the launch party for Bumble Bizz. After listening to Wolfe Herd speak, Chopra approached her to say: India needs this. Bumble also needs India (and other international markets), where the opportunity for growth is enormous. So far, Bumble is gaining traction in India - more than a million people signed up in the first four months - but it's still hitting barriers. The solution may be to lean more heavily on Bizz, as well as BFF.
Facebook - Free. At first, it will also be without ads
Match.com - A basic profile is free. The premium annual subscription is ~$20 a month.
Tinder: Basic Tinder is free. Tinder Plus costs $9.99/month.
Facebook: Lets users on a date share real-time location with friends on Facebook Messenger.
Match.com: Report abuse or assault in the app or online.
Facebook: Unknown; Facebook hasn't disclosed.
Match.com: Average subscribers on all of Match Group's apps grew 18% to 9.1M in the Q2 of 2019.
Tinder: 5.2M as of Q2 2019
How Old Are These People?
Facebook: undisclosed, but users on the overall platform are between 25 and 34
Match.com: 28% are 54- 74, 36% are 39 - 53 and 31% are 24 - 38