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Mark Brooks
An authority on the business of internet dating
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NEW YORK TIMES - Oct 30 - Singles are putting their political affiliations front and center as they search for partners. Some singles want to know if their potential matches are civically engaged, even on a basic level. Others see their dates' politics as indicators of compatibility. In a survey, Bumble found that out of 50 factors women considered in a potential match, politics ranked ninth. (It came in behind smoking habits, family plans, life goals and relationship intent.) 33 to 35% of all users said the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have made them care more about the political views of their potential match. On OkCupid, politics has become the most popular category. ~1.2M people who use OkCupid said they prefer to date people who share their political views. by Valeriya Safronova See full article at New York Times See the top news on Bumble See the top news on OkCupid Continue reading
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OPEN PR - Oct 30 - Luxy has identified that since the Coronavirus-related economic crisis, the number of Sugar Babies trying to enter Luxy has skyrocketed. Up to 200 of over 3K daily applicants are falling in the Sugar category. Luxy has a lot of barriers to stop them from joining the community. Luxy is the most popular selective dating app. It has been dubbed as 'Tinder for Millionaires' and caters exclusively to wealthy and successful people. Since its launch in 2014, Luxy has paired ~2M singles. See full article at Open PR See the top news on Luxy Continue reading
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OPW - Oct 30 - Project 0d8 is an IDEA (Internet Dating Excellence Association) project. We're opening up access to a team of amazing top tier professors in the fields of Behavioral Science and Evolutionary Psychology to help you improve your game. Please see 0d8.com for more information. They want the ability to run surveys, do randomized control tests and look at aggregate data to test hypotheses that can help you improve your dating apps and understand user behavior more profoundly. Email mark@idea.gp if you'd like to help further the science behind Internet dating. Continue reading
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JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY - Oct 29 - On a visit home to Fort Lauderdale back in 2013, Jeffrey Kaplan watched as Kaplan's mother pulled out her computer to show him the fake JDate profile she'd put together in an effort to help Kaplan's brother find love. That was the germ of the idea for JustKibbitz.com, a dating site where parents, grandparents and friends can set up profiles for their loved ones to try to find them a potential match. Kaplan and co-founder Mike Ovies launched the site this year after winning $150K at an investment capital pitch contest in 2019. So far, hundreds of people have signed themselves and their children up, according to Kaplan. by Sara Ivry See full article at Jewish Telegraphic Agency See the top news on JustKibbitz Continue reading
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PR NEWSWIRE - Oct 28 - A new eharmony study has revealed that a fifth (21%) of single Brits are fully activated to find love before it's too late. Singletons say they are largely seeking companionship (40%) as opposed to casual dating, and many are worried about feeling lonely during a second wave (36%). A similar number (35%) admit that they want to 'settle down' so they can see the pandemic through within the confines of a long-term relationship. See full article at PR Newswire See the top news on eharmony Continue reading
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PR NEWSWIRE - Oct 28 - America's premier dating expert Andrea McGinty has launched 33 Thousand Dates, an upscale dating coaching platform designed to help Gen X and millennial women take a simple, fun and proactive approach to online dating. McGinty is the founder of multiple successful businesses, including It's Just Lunch matchmaking service. See full article at PR Newswire Continue reading
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PINKNEWS.CO.UK - Oct 28 - Racist Grindr users often face "zero consequences whatsoever" on the gay dating app, according to researcher Gene Lim, who is currently completing a PhD at Monash University in Melbourne investigating sexual racism. Grindr bans racism and discrimination in its community guidelines, but Lim said that such behaviour often goes unpunished. by Patrick Kelleher See full article at PinkNews.co.uk See the top news on Grindr Continue reading
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MOBILE PAYMENTS TODAY - Oct 28 - Fintech EBANX, specializing in local payment solutions for Latin America, has partnered with Tinder for subscription payments in Latin America. The partnership will first launch in Brazil. Tinder will offer members the option to pay for subscriptions via local credit and/or debit cards in deposits account, as well as the option to pay in up to six installments. EBANX and Tinder plan to expand the availability of local payment methods to Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Peru over the coming weeks. See full article at Mobile Payments Today See the top news on Tinder Continue reading
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SEEKING ALPHA - Oct 28 - Amid the pandemic, Match Group announced that Hinge is now profitable and on track to triple revenue this year. In February of this year, Match Group acquired the remaining 49% of Hinge that it didn't already own. Match had previously purchased a majority stake in the app back in June 2018. Tinder's somewhat sleazy reputation as a "hookup app" allowed other entrants such as Hinge to build brands around the idea of a more relationship-focused service. Rather than retool Tinder to be all things to all people, Match bought Hinge and embraced the idea of market segmentation. Although Match doesn't offer any specific numbers, Morgan Stanley analyst Lauren Cassel estimates that the app has 6M active users and ~400K paying subscribers. Those numbers are dwarfed by Tinder's estimated user base of ~50M active accounts and ~6M paying users, but Hinge's customer base is older, and thus, willingness to pay is higher. Assuming that the 400K paying user figure is accurate, simple arithmetic shows that Hinge could be generating ~$64M annually in sales from subscriptions alone. by Mike Berner See full article at Seeking Alpha See the top news on Hinge See the top news... Continue reading
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INC - Oct 28 - Covid is eating us from the inside. This will continue for an indefinite time: a year and a half. Someone will adapt. When everyone switched to remote work, the question began to torment me: how many invisible e-employees and e-part-timers do I have? Those who will manage to do nothing or receive two or three salaries from different organizations for full-time work. 90% of my their effectiveness has increased. I asked managers . In 2013, a large-scale experiment in China showed that if employees worked from home 4 out of 5 working days, their productivity increased. Workers are less distracted at home. Another study concluded those working from home were more satisfied, productive and loyal to the employer, and became more autonomous - it became easier for them to make decisions. At home, I myself determine what and when to work. This allows me to focus better. Now I can make decisions not only during working hours, but also in the evening and in the morning. Now I am not distracted by my colleague Eva when she cuts her nails on my desk. Consider your... transparency of communications clear areas of responsibility trust between managers... Continue reading
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TECH CRUNCH - Oct 27 - Face to Face, an opt-in-only feature that Tinder launched earlier this year that lets users video chat with each other without exchanging personal information and only when they're facing the cam, is now expanding globally. Both parties need to be opted into the feature, and they have to be matched before a video chat can be initiated. by Ingrid Lunden See full article at Tech Crunch See the top news on Tinder Continue reading
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CULT OF MAC - Oct 27 - The Coalition for App Fairness, a group of developers targeting what they claim is Apple's unfair control of the App Store, has more than doubled in size since its formation last month. According to a new report, the original group of 13 companies - which included the likes of Epic Games, Spotify and Match Group - has now increased to 40, with another 400 requests to join. The coalition has what it refers to as the 10 App Store Principles. The App Store has been investigated by politicians in both the U.S. and Europe. by Luke Dormehl See full article at Cult of Mac Continue reading
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IB TIMES - Oct 27 - The UK- based website Dinky One joined the bandwagon of dating services in March and has attracted ~30K members in just two days after it was launched. The dating site caters to all genders and sexualities with a fifth of the men who have since signed up identified as gay or bisexual. It is free to sign up and photographs are not required from users. However, everyone must provide a valid email address. Sharing of nudes on the dating app is also prohibited. by Nina Siena See full article at IB Times See the top news on Dinky One Continue reading
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BUSINESS INSIDER - Oct 27 - BlueCity is the owner of Blued, the first LBGTQ+-focused social network to go public. It was at a market value of ~$600M. CEO Ma Baoli began his career as a policeman in China before creating his own social network in 2000. Q: Your first job was as a policeman. How did you make the transition into the tech industry? A: When the Internet boom hit China in 1998, I started to search for answers. Through the Internet I discovered that homosexuality was not an illness or a disorder. The predecessor of Blued is the website Danlan.com, which I founded in 2000, and was one of China's first and most influential LGBTQ online forums. In 2012, when I saw the big shift from the PC internet to mobile Internet, we launched the Blued app. Q: How do you plan to expand Blued in the future? A: We hope to refine and expand our current health services, and feel confident that they will eventually reach users around the world. We also plan to serve different subgroups within the broader LGBTQ+ community, as seen in our recent acquisition of LESDO, a leading Lesbian social-networking app. Q: What... Continue reading
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FORBES - Oct 27 - VCs now take their pitches over a safely-distanced Zoom call. But VC funding for female founders has dropped to a three-year low. Firms invested ~$434M in Q3, the lowest figure since the Q2 of 2017, according to PitchBook data. The Q2 total also amounts to a 48% drop in funding from Q2, when female founders received $841M across 132 deals. There are VC firms that focus exclusively on female founders, such as Female Founders Fund (FFF). Founded in 2014, the NYC-based firm has raised two funds to date (~$6M and ~$25M) and counts 40+ companies in its portfolio. One deal FFF closed during the lockdown is Lex, a text-based social app for queer, non-binary and trans communities. Other investors that joined in alongside FFF include Peanut's Michelle Kennedy and the Bumble Fund. Through her app, Lex founder Kell Rakowski is reframing the dating experience from a visual-based to a text-based experience, bringing back old-school personal ads to social media. The current version of Lex has zero photos and no swiping. The NYC-based startup recently closed its seed round of $1.5M, which was led by FFF. by Bérénice Magistretti See full article at Forbes See the... Continue reading
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PR NEWSWIRE - Oct 23 - Momo, a leading mobile social networking platform in China, announced that its board of directors has approved Mr. Yan Tang to step down from the CEO position, and promoted Mr. Li Wang to this position. Mr. Wang was serving as the President and COO of Momo. Mr. Yan Tang will become the executive chairman of the board of directors of Momo. See full article at PR Newswire See the top news on Momo Continue reading
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PLANT BASED NEWS - Oct 26 - Vegan and vegetarian dating app Veggly says it has witnessed its growth eightfold in the last 16 months. The app has exceeded 200K global users. by Liam Gilliver See full article at Plant Based News See the top news on Veggly Continue reading
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NEW YORK BUSINESS JOURNAL - Oct 24 - The app said the funding came from a group of investors including Kerr Tech Investments. Cobble, which is available in New York City, helps couples decide on things like what restaurants to go to, what movies to watch and what books to read. "We are trying to make it easier for couples to make decisions and communicate," said Jordan Scott, Cobble's founder and CEO. The app is hiring and plans to roll out into new cities in the near future. by Ben Miller See full article at New York Business Journal See the top news on Cobble This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.com Continue reading
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INSAUGA - Oct 22 - Spark, a dating app that launched in Canada last summer, is launching the 'Change My Mind' feature that enables singles to upload a 20-second video stating their opinion on a popularly divisive topic, and other users can respond with a video of their own. One of Spark's recent surveys found 82% of Canadian singles said they are more attracted to people with passionate opinions. The same survey found 70% of respondents said they enjoy debating light-hearted topics with a date, while 73% consider debating with someone to be a form of flirting. by Matt Dionne See full article at InSauga See the top news on Spark Continue reading
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TECH CRUNCH - Oct 21 - From today, European Facebook users can opt into Facebook Dating by creating a profile at facebook.com/dating. Among the dating product's main features are the ability to share Stories on users' profile; a Secret Crush feature that let people select up to nine of their Facebook friends or Instagram followers who they'd like to date (without them knowing unless they also add them - triggering a match notification); the ability to see people with similar interests; and a video chat feature called Virtual Dates. Since the launch of Facebook's dating product in 20 countries around the world - including the U.S. and a number of markets in Asia and LatAm - the company says ~1.5B matches have been "created". by Natasha Lomas See full article at Tech Crunch See the top news on Facebook Dating Continue reading
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MANCUNIAN MATTERS - Oct 21 - After Black Lives Matter protests shook cities across the world, Grindr opted to remove its 'ethnicity filter', sparking a major debate about romantic discrimination in the digital age. However, many have also expressed opposition to the update, stating that apps should respect the 'preferences' of individual users. Other dating sites were dragged into the mix. Hinge and OkCupid have said that they have opted to continue giving users the option to filter by ethnicity. Match Group argued in a statement by spokesperson Justine Sacco, "In many cases we've been asked to create filters for minorities that would otherwise not find each other." by Jacklin Kwan See full article at Mancunian Matters See the top news on Grindr See the top news on OkCupid See the top news on Match Group See the top news on Hinge Continue reading
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ABC - Oct 21 - LGBT Australians have criticized Grindr for allowing predators to easily create new profiles, despite reporting them for harassment or assault. Grindr users only need an email address to create a new profile and no other verification information, like a mobile phone number, is necessary. Unlike other dating apps such as Tinder, Grindr users don't opt-in by swiping on a profile and agreeing to message with someone. That means anyone can message anyone on the app. Grindr also limits the number of times a person can block someone on the app. Users can only block ten profiles per day; unlimited blocking is only available to people who pay for Grindr's premium version. by Jo Lauder See full article at ABC See the top news on Grindr Continue reading
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ELITE DAILY - Oct 21 - Bumble users can now make the first move by sending an emoji. The emoji will only be shared if the two people match, and there's no need to add a message. There are nine emoji options to choose from, including the heart-eye smiley face, the "see no evil" monkey, and a pair of clapping hands. The emoji feature could serve as a low-pressure means to to kicking off a conversation. by Hannah Orenstein See full article at Elite Daily See the top news on Bumble Continue reading
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BUSINESS INSIDER - Oct 21 - For Hinge founder and CEO Justin McLeod, the pandemic has brought with it a set of unique challenges and stressors. Hinge transitioned its employees to working from home in March. Since then, its employees reported feeling more stressed and burned out. McLeod said that the company has conducted several employee engagement surveys. Using the data, they're able to distill the biggest concerns that need to be addressed, and develop an action plan. But data can't tell you everything. You also need to regularly communicate with your employees when you have face time. McLeod begins his meetings with a brief employee check-in. The engagement surveys helped Hinge realize that workers were burning out. So the company introduced initiatives like "Unplug Fridays," which allowed Hinge employees to work four days every other week in the summer. They also implemented "No Meeting Tuesdays" to prevent employees from feeling constantly stuck in virtual meetings. by May Teng See full article at Business Insider See the top news on Hinge Continue reading
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DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL - Oct 21 - "While we're watching to see what Facebook does do, it doesn't actually change much of our strategy," says CEO Shar Dubey. The company is investing in video. "I have personally been a huge believer in the power of video in sort of bridging the gap between online messaging and then the first time you actually go on a date with someone," Dubey said. by Brian Womack See full article at Dallas Business Journal See the top news on Match Group Continue reading