Welcome to Dating Sites Reviews

Tinder for Apple TV: Online Dating’s Next Incarnation

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Binging on Netflix has become a social occasion, with friends gathering together to watch their favorite shows and movies in the comfort of home. Now, Tinder has proposed that online dating can be a social occasion, too - and like Netflix, experienced via your TV.

This past December (notably in time for the holidays), the company launched Tinder for Apple TV, which allows you to search for dates on the big screen, presumably with your friends gathered round to comment. The tvOSapp for Apple TV allows you to swipe left and right on potential dates on the big screen to make it a group activity. Perhaps while you’re opening presents or eating turkey and pumpkin pie with your family?

It’s the same Tinder as the version that lives on your phone, but available for display so your friends and family don’t have to squint or pass your phone around to give you their opinions.

“With a new, swipeable remote control and the world’s hottest app now in HD, modern dating is taking a page from the age-old book of matchmaking,” reads the Tinder announcement of the new tvOS app. “Let’s face it—the people who know you best have traditionally had a high rate of success when helping you pick a partner.”

New Study Reveals Trend in Photo Retouching Among Online Daters

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Have you ever “touched up” one of your Tinder profile photos? Maybe you wanted to look more vibrant, or erase a double chin or receding hairline. If you have, you’re not alone.

Meitu, a popular photo retouching app, surveyed 250 online daters to find out their photo retouching practices, and to see how honestly people are presenting themselves to potential matches. Not surprisingly, they found a considerable portion of the respondents does retouch - 33% of women had retouched their photos and 20% of men had retouched theirs.

While it’s no secret that people optimize photos (look at all the filters on Instagram), it is interesting that this follows a trend in online dating where people have historically posted misleading images of themselves – either by using old photos from 10 years ago at a time when they were thinner or had more hair, or by Photoshopping  their “flaws,” like skin blemishes.

Along these lines, the survey found that 47 percent of men and 27 percent of women have encountered a first date who looked nothing like their profile image, feeding into the stereotype that many people lie about themselves to seem more attractive.

But what does it mean when someone admits to photo retouching? Is there a difference in perception between online daters who do a few touch-ups to enhance their features, compared to severely altering their images? Turns out, there is a difference.

Most survey respondents who admitted to photo retouching did only slight tweaks, such as blemish removal (44 percent of women and 28 percent of men), teeth whitening (18 percent women, 16 percent men), or lightening and darkening of skin tone (28 percent women, 20% men). For all categories, women seemed to do more tweaking in general than men. But the vast majority of both women and men said that some light retouching is fine with them (71 percent of women and 65 percent of men).

Most survey respondents agreed that more severe retouching, such as reshaping faces and body outlines is not okay. Ninety-eight percent of women and 91 percent of men don’t think it’s fine to retouch an image more than slightly.

In summary, avoid surprises on your first date by keeping photo edits simple and natural. Getting rid of that random pimple, adding a little color to your pre-summer skin, or brightening your smile is all good. But avoid anything that’s going to make you look like a different you!

Meitu surveyed men and women between the ages of 18-34 who had used online dating sites or mobile dating apps. 

Controversial Dating App The League Relaunches, focusing on Events

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Since its debut, The League has earned a somewhat elitist reputation. True to its name, the dating app screens all of its applicants according to their career and education, making it a place for singles of a certain stature to find each other online.

Recently, the company launched a new version of its dating app in Los Angeles following a soft launch in New York and San Francisco, and is now focusing on events. Potential members are still required to apply before being able to use the app (the company claims more than 100,000 are on its waiting list). But once you’ve been approved as a member, you can join or create new events based on your interests.

TechCrunch interviewed CEO Amanda Bradford about the app’s new focus, and she emphasized its potential. “The overall goal,” Bradford told the news website, is to turn The League into a “members-only club,” with “a killer singles scene.”

Business Insider was a little more skeptical about the relaunch, calling it a “do or die moment” for the company, since they need to make some cash soon. According to Business Insider, The League spent most of the last year rebuilding its app from the ground up because it wouldn’t scale properly – hence the focus on events. The company needed to see if people were just curious about the app because of the media buzz, or if it was a viable platform where its members would truly engage. Although the app is still free, Bradford did say that the plan is to offer a freemium service and start charging a tiered membership fee, similar to a members-only club. “Ads aren’t feasible for us,” Bradford told the website.

The newest version of The League is meant to encourage friendships and networking among the site’s members, and not necessarily limit connections to dating. For instance, a female user can create a “women’s wine circle” or a running group. The focus is more on the activity, event or interest, and less on meeting potential dates, which makes these events more organic and fun compared to a singles party. The League has done its own events for members, but these are limited in comparison to members taking charge and creating events themselves.

So while the company says it’s not moving away from the dating space, it seems to be focusing more on the app’s potential to create connections – whether it’s friendships, business contacts, or potential dates.  The bigger question is how soon the app will be able to grow its membership, stickiness, and eventually its revenue stream.

New Dating App Dine is Focused on the Date...and Where to Eat

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There seems to be a new dating app launching every week. In such a crowded market, you’d think investors and developers would shy away from creating something new, but it seems everyone is trying to take a piece of the dating market away from Tinder.

However, I came across a new app trying in a more interesting way to differentiate itself from the popular app – not by being more “female-focused” or offering profile verification as other competing apps are doing, but by focusing on what the actual goal is – the real-life date.

Dating app Dine offers users a chance to match not only through common interests, but through restaurant preferences. According to the company, the goal is to get you from an online match to an actual date – dinner or drinks – as quickly as possible. (Avoiding the Tinder problem of messaging endlessly with no results.) The app is integrated with Yelp to offer local eating choices.

Dine is owned by Mrk & Co., founded by veterans of Japanese gaming giant DeNA, which Nintendo partnered with to bring its games to Smartphones last year. But Dine isn’t incorporating the game-like elements of Tinder or its parent companies' popular games in its dating app. Its premise is similar to dating website How About We, where people can search for matches based on ideas they come up with for a first date. But Dine is all about the eating experience.

The concept of Dine is simple: After filling out your profile, you pick three restaurants or bars where you’d want to meet for a date. Dine offers you 2-5 potential matches per day, along with which three places they chose, so you can request to go on a date at a particular location.

When you send someone a date request and they match (accept), you can message each other. However – Dine provides users with suggested messages ready to go, with the language focused on scheduling a date and time for your meet-up. Of course you can erase their suggestions and add your own message, but the app is focused on getting you to set the date and meet in person.

According to an article in Business Insider, about half of accepted requests lead to actual dates within a two-week period, at least for the beta phase of the Dine app launch.

Dine has now launched all over the U.S. and Canada. Also noteworthy: Apple was impressed enough with the concept to feature it on its list of "best new apps".

YouTube Was Originally Supposed To Be A Video Dating Website

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In 2016, there’s no question about YouTube’s place in the world. The streaming site is the go-to destination for music videos, comedy sketches, makeup tutorials, adorable pets, and any other video whim the internet has. But before it was so firmly entrenched in popular culture, YouTube had an entirely different aim: dating.

According to co-founder Steve Chen, who recently spoke at the 2016 South By Southwest conference, YouTube was initially conceived as a way for singles to upload videos of themselves talking about the future partner they hope to meet.

“We always thought there was something with video there, but what would be the actual practical application?” Chen said, according to CNET. “We thought dating would be the obvious choice.” Chen and his co-founders, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim, launched a site with a simple slogan: Tune In, Hook Up. Five days later, not a single video had been uploaded.

In desperation, the team took matters into their own hands. “Realizing videos of anything would be better than no videos, I populated our new dating site with videos of 747s taking off and landing," Karim told Motherboard. They took out ads on Craigslist in Las Vegas and Los Angeles and offered to pay women $20 to upload videos of themselves to the site. Again, they came up short.

The co-founders made the decision to ditch the dating aspect entirely. Early adopters began using YouTube to share videos of all kinds - pets, vacations, performances, anything. YouTube took on a new meaning, got a physical makeover, and this time, it worked.

Although YouTube’s matchmaking element was a bust, it’s an interesting origin story that has inspired a small amount of superstition in its founders. Chen noted that they registered the domain name YouTube on February 14 - "Just three guys on Valentine's Day that had nothing to do," he said.

Today YouTube is hardly “nothing.” It was acquired by Google for a $1.65 billion in 2006. It has launched the careers of many stars, from Justin Bieber to Swedish gamer PewDiePie. The company is nothing short of an empire.

Chen now has a new project in the works. He was at SxSW with Vijay Karunamurthy, an early engineering manager at YouTube, in support of their new startup, Nom. The service describes itself as “a community for food lovers to create, share and watch their favorite stories in real-time.” The food-focused site, which lets chefs and foodies broadcast live video of their edible adventures, launched in March.

New Dating App Blume Claims to Solve the Catfishing Problem

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There’s a new dating app on the market, and this one puts safety first in a big way. Blume has just launched an app that claims to solve the catfishing problem in online dating.

If you’ve been online dating, you’re probably familiar with the term catfishing. It happens when one online dater tries to deceive another online dater by lying about who he is, his intentions, even his photos and Facebook profile. Usually, people trying to “catfish” other online daters are trying to gain access to financial or personal information, taking advantage of someone else’s vulnerability.

Many dating apps have tried to address the problem by providing “verification” of some sort for everyone who joins a website, usually by having you sign up with your Facebook profile. But some have managed to get around the restrictions, taking advantage of other online daters by sending fake pictures and messages.

Blume has gone one step further by making verification part of the communication process. When you are ready to message someone you mutually “like” (similar to Tinder’s swipe), you cannot proceed without first taking a selfie in that moment. Only when both matches take and send the selfie so each can compare and make sure it’s the same person – are they allowed to communicate. (This might also prompt some late-night hair and make-up attention – instead of hanging out and swiping in your pajamas, one of the benefits to online dating.) You have seven seconds to compare the photos (like Snapchat) before they disappear. Once you take the selfies and they are accepted, then you can begin chatting.

While this is a compelling hook and many people do enjoy taking selfies, this might also be a detraction for using the app. Most of us want to appear camera-ready, and might not like the way we look in selfies, or want to spend time taking the right picture, in the right light, in the right outfit (of course). One benefit is that the photo disappears – but a potential hazard is that you might think your curated profile won’t look the same as your selfie – and that your date might not think you’re the same person.

Not to mention, if you like to sit at the bar or restaurant swiping Tinder while waiting for your friends, this would not bode well for Blume. A poorly lit bar with lots of people around might not be the ideal time to take a selfie for some people. Or even sitting in a café having a coffee.

But if you’re willing to give it a shot and take your chances with your selfies, go for it. It might be the latest online dating craze.