FRANCE24 - Gay dating app Grindr has disappeared from multiple app stores in China as authorities tighten control of the country's already heavily policed internet. Although China decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, same-sex marriage is illegal and LGBTQ issues remain taboo. Local Grindr competitors such as Blued remain available for download.
OPW - Dennis Yu, CTO of BlitzMetrics, believes there is incredible opportunity to generate growth through Facebook and Instagram advertising. Acquiring leads through cheap app installs or $1-3 CPM traffic is not longer viable due to common privacy settings. A more sophisticated and targeted ad campaign approach is needed. Businesses must learn to utilize URL parameters and the conversion APIs built into marketing automation systems to acquire actionable data. Dating sites must register and have their creatives preapproved before use. Dennis Yu provides a wealth of knowledge on leveraging Facebook and Instagram marketing for online dating platforms in the latest video in the LTR Conference series.
LTR stands for Love, Technology, Relationships and the online conference covers the Internet dating and Online Social Communities space. It is for members of IDEA and OSCA.
MONEY CONTROL - 'As You Are', an Indian social networking and matchmaking app, has raised $250K in Compulsorily Convertible Debentures (CCDs), from queer couples who are angel investors and also Indian-origin entrepreneurs from the marketing space. AYA launched in June 2020 and has ~25K downloads.
PCMAG - Tinder users in the US will soon be able to conduct background checks on potential matches. Match Group last year teamed up with Garbo to provide screening technology for Tinder. Founded in 2018 by Kathryn Kosmides, a survivor of gender-based violence, Garbo helps prevent dangerous situations by providing information about people before they connect. Its background checks compile public records and reports of violence or abuse - including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes. Match Group last year promised that once Garbo is fully adopted on Tinder, its other brands - Match, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, etc. - will follow.
NEW YORK TIMES - Last Thursday night, dating app Thursday was hosting a singles' mixer. The app is accessible only one day a week. When the clock strikes midnight, users toggle an icon to indicate that they're ready to date that day. Then, for 24 hours, they can swipe and chat as on other dating sites. When Thursday becomes Friday, however, their matches are wiped and the app locks. The implication is that there’s no time to waste with chitchat; making a date is now or never. To encourage those IRL meetings, Thursday hosts events in London and New York, the two cities where it is up and running.
OPW - Trust & Safety Connect (TSC) is on Wed 2nd February starting 12 noon EST (New York) and for this quarterly online event we're focused on 'user verification.' How can we make sure we have real people, who are who they say they are on our platforms? We have a half hour of networking on virtual tables, then a 50 minute panel with four world-class panelists from HubPeople, RealMe and FaceTec, and moderator Norman Petty, who is head of Trust & Safety at The Meet Group. 1.5 hours all-in.
PRESS RELEASE - Seeking.com, the world's largest upscale dating website, has added another feature to enhance members' safety via a $30M commitment to UrSafe, a premier hands-free, voice-activated personal safety app fully integrated with 911. As of Feb 1, 2022, everyone in the Seeking community will have access to a free 60-day trial. UrSafe app includes real-time location sharing as well as voice-activated safe words that immediately notify law enforcement, and friends and family, if the user feels endangered.
TECH CRUNCH - As a result of its ongoing partnership with nonprofit and anti-sexual assault organization RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), Tinder announced a handful of product improvements as well as training for internal teams to better support survivors of abuse and harassment. Soon, Tinder members will have access to background checks on their matches through Garbo, a non profit Match Group invested in last spring.
BLOOMBERG LAW - Bumble misled investors about the loss of paying dating app users ahead of its Sep 2021 secondary public offering, a new suit alleges in federal court in New York. The company didn't disclose how its "previous favorable paying user growth trend had abruptly reversed" in the fiscal quarter leading up to the Sept. 10 offering. Bumble had lost tens of thousands of paying users during Q3 2021. Paying users had been more reluctant to sign up for the Bumble app during the quarter because of the recent price hike for paid services.
GRIT DAILY - S'More reported a 50% increase in profiles views, 10% increase in retention, and a 35% increase in video views since launch. S'More's new rich media profiles feature autoplay music, voice responses, and cover photos. The app now shows exactly what criteria people matched on and then lets them start an instant chat. S'More has redesigned the photo reveal mechanic, adding a pie chart over profile photos. The more a person chats, the more slices are removed, slowly revealing their profile photo. Dating app S'More (a.k.a. Something More) wants users to get to know each other without seeing them first.