China Cracks Down On Romance Fraud, Arrests More Than 1000 Scammers

Legal
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Chinese dating scammers are in hot water this summer. More than a thousand members of fraud rings have been arrested in the country over the last two months, potentially saving thousands of singles from falling victim to their deceit.

In June, police in the southern province of Guangdong cracked down on 13 gangs who posed as attractive women in order to con men into purchasing pricey products like tea and wine. Authorities apprehended a total of 1,310 suspects, each of whom could approach up to 1,500 victims per month.

“These scam gangs [succeed] because they capture the psychology of many men: When facing beautiful women, men lose their judgement, and feel too shy to refuse,” a Guangdong police officer said at a briefing about the arrests.

China’s Tinder Explores AI, Monetization, And Overseas Expansion

General News
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Chinese Tinder clone Tantan is embracing the future with open arms.

Like several of its colleagues in the United States -- including Match, Happn, and Hinge -- Tantan is experimenting with artificial intelligence as a tool for modern matchmaking. Chief Executive Yu Wang announced earlier this month at RISE Hong Kong that AI is a primary focus for the company in the second half of 2018, and that he hopes it will be a key driver of growth going forward.

The technology will be used to improve the accuracy of user acquisition and advertising, as well as to boost growth in user numbers and revenues more generally.

OkCupid Launches “DTF” Ad Campaign to Mixed Reviews

OkCupid
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Dating app OkCupid recently launched a new marketing campaign centered around the popular yet derogatory dating phrase “DTF,” but giving it new meaning in the age of #MeToo. The campaign is also a dig at Tinder, which is known for its hook-up reputation.

Instead of employing DTF with its usual meaning (which is widely seen as demeaning to women and refers to Down to F@#k), OkCupid has turned the term on its head to engage people to try the app. For instance, one campaign poster defines it as “DT Fall Head Over Heels” with a picture of one woman lovingly carrying another who is holding a rose (the symbol of romance). This nod to inclusivity for the LGBTQ community did not go unnoticed, with couples recreating the shot next to OkCupid’s campaign posters and posting them to social media.

Other campaign posters include optional endings as well, such as “DT Feel Fabulous” “DT Forget Our Baggage” or even slightly more irreverent “DT Four Twenty” or “DT Fight About the President.” (Note: OkCupid has seen a 64% increase in political terms being employed in user profiles over the last year.)

Grindr Hints At Plans To Make Dating A 'Kindr', More Inclusive Experience

Grindr
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“It’s time to play nice.”

With those five words and a cryptic Instagram post, Grindr has hinted at what appears to be a new initiative to curb discrimination amongst daters. Its name, of course, is Kindr.

Grindr has long faced criticism from users who found the app to be an unwelcoming, and sometimes dangerous, place. Many have reported experiencing racism, transphobia, and violent hate crimes on or as a result of the platform. Some have sworn it off completely in response.

With Kindr, Grindr may finally be ready to tackle the issue head on. The Instagram post features an updated logo and a series of intertwining voiceovers describing their experiences with prejudice on the app.

MeetMindful: A Dating App For The Wellness Age

Reviews
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Technology companies frequently boast of “disrupting” their industries. But ask Amy Baglan, co-founder of online dating platform MeetMindful, and she’ll say technology has become disruptive in a negative way - at least where romantic relationships are concerned.

“Social media and technology in general has taught us that it’s okay to connect on really surface-level, quick ways, and that’s not how I think we’re wired as humans,” she told Dever publication Westword. “There is an underlying anxiety that it’s not enough, that something’s missing.”

That something, she hopes, is her very own dating startup. The earliest seeds for MeetMindful were planted in 2006, when Baglan was vice president of a New York City startup and turned to yoga and meditation to fill a void in her personal life. Four years later, she quit her job to pursue her own Eat, Pray, Love journey through Asia. Baglan experimented with various mindful living practices and immersed herself in communities dedicated to the integration of mind, body, and spirit.

Tinder is Allowing Users to Send Bitmoji in Messages

Tinder
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Tinder has announced that users will be able to add Bitmoji when messaging matches.

The popular dating app is utilizing the personalized-avatar service Bitmoji to help users be a little more creative and expressive when they communicate and share with their matches. Previously, Tinder did not allow users to send any images in messages to other matches because of potential abuse and sensitive content (a.k.a. “dick pics”). Users had to rely on curated photos (up to nine total per profile) to express their personalities and preferences, which many people felt was insufficient for something as personal as online dating.

Adding Bitmoji cartoons and caricatures allows users to be creative and express themselves to matches without worrying about the potential problems of sharing photos.