Facebook Dating Launches in US as Privacy Concerns Loom

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Facebook Dating now available in the United States
Image: Facebook

Facebook Dating made its much-anticipated debut in the US on September 5th, but concerns about its privacy issues have overshadowed the excitement in media coverage of the app.

Facebook was recently ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to pay about $5 billion in fines for privacy lapses, including its maligned partnership with Cambridge Analytica leading up to the 2016 elections. And most recently, the Attorneys General of eight different states have launched an anti-trust investigation of the company, specifically concerning the company’s privacy practices and purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram.

Still, Facebook Dating is betting on its wealth of personal user data as a competitive advantage for creating better matches to directly compete with apps like Tinder. (Match Group saw its shares fall 5 percent on the day Facebook Dating was launched, a sign of investor concerns about the new competition.)

Tinder Partners with Live Nation to Offer Its Users Concert Tickets

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Tinder Page on Live Nation

Tinder has partnered with concert service Live Nation to offer its users discounted tickets to see their favorite artists - and encourage Tinder matches to go together.

The initiative is called “epic first dates” and provides $30 all-in concert tickets for shows like Meek Mill & Future, The Chainsmokers, Logic and A$AP Ferg, according to Billboard. Other concert tickets include Lukas Graham, The Head and The Heart, Young Thug and Machine Gun Kelly, among others. The promotion will run through the end of October.

If you want to try “epic first date,” you can simply swipe right on tour profile cards of bands you want to see when they appear in your feed. You can then follow the link to a dedicated landing page with tour and ticket information.

Phone Numbers Of Over 400 Million Facebook Users Have Been Found Online

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Facebook Security Breach

Phone numbers linked to the Facebook accounts of more than 419 million users have been found online thanks to an insecure server.

According to TechCrunch, the server contained records from multiple databases, including 133 million records on Facebook users in the United States, 18 million records of users in the United Kingdom, and over 50 million records on users in Vietnam. Each record contained a user’s Facebook ID - a unique number associated with every Facebook account, which can easily be used to ascertain the account owner’s name - as well as the phone number listed on the account. Some records also contained the user’s name, gender and location by country.

The server was not protected with a password, allowing anyone to find and access the database. Sanyam Jain, a security researcher from the non-profit organization GDI Foundation, discovered the database and reached out to TechCrunch when he was unable to identify the owner. TechCrunch confirmed the authenticity of a number of records in the database, but was also unable to find the owner.

Dating App Hiki Launches for Autistic Daters

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Hiki Screen Capture

New dating app Hiki launched this month, and it is the first of its kind to cater specifically to the Autistic community.

Founder Jamil Karriem was inspired to create the app with help from his cousin with Autism, who expressed his loneliness and fear that he wouldn’t be able to find someone special. Karriem decided that he wanted to create a safe digital space that would allow those with special needs to connect, whether for friendship or dating. The word “hiki” itself means “able” in Hawaiian.

Karriem told Yahoo! Finance that he didn’t want to limit the app just to dating, but that often people in the Autistic community are interested in finding new friends, too. The Hiki app allows users to swipe left or right, depending upon what it is they’re looking for — friendship or romance.

Grammy Winning Artist Lauren Daigle Partners with Bumble BFF

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Lauren Daigle
Lauren Daigle

Grammy-winning Christian singer Lauren Daigle has partnered with Bumble BFF to help promote its “Asking for a Friend” campaign.

The star joins other celebrities such as Jameela Jamil and celebrity gamer Kristen Valnicek, who have joined forces with Bumble to encourage its users to build friendships and support networks to counter the growing problem of loneliness and isolation around the world, especially among young women. According to studies, social media is part of the problem, with one in five people saying browsing through their feeds makes them feel lonely.

“At its core, music is about connecting with others - whether sharing a favorite song or hanging at a concert (with a couple thousand friends),” Daigle told The Christian Beat. “Bumble BFF is similar in a way, in that people can find comfort and connect to others through conversation.”

China’s Largest Gay Dating App Blued Plans U.S. IPO

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Blued Chinese Dating App

China’s gay dating app Blued is making its next move – an IPO in the U.S. market.

According to Bloomberg, the largest app for the LGBTQ community in China is planning to raise about $200 million through the IPO. The sale will likely take place next year, and the company could be valued as high as 1 billion US dollars.

Blued was founded by a former policeman named Geng Le in 2012, and now has more than 40 million users and garnered more than $130 million in venture capital as of March of this year, according to Bloomberg. The app offers live streaming and gaming in addition to online dating, and also connects men who want to become parents with surrogates overseas. These types of services are also part of Blued’s strategy to generate additional revenue outside of the traditional dating app.