OkCupid Partners With ACLU For #RightToLove Campaign

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Dating experts have long cautioned against discussing controversial subjects like politics on the first date, but a new partnership between OkCupid and the American Civil Liberties Union puts politics front and center in honor of Pride Month.

The dating service is introducing an ACLU #RightToLove profile badge to help users meet other members who support the non-profit. The badge will be displayed on the profile of every OkCupid user who publicly responds “yes” to the question “Do you support the ACLU?” For every user who receives the badge, OkCupid will donate $1 towards the ACLU (up to $50,000).

According to an OkCupid blog post, ninety percent of users who answered the question said yes — one of the highest agreement percentages across all of OkCupid’s iconic questions.

Match Launches Lara Chatbot Across Google Assistant Network

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Following a successful launch on Facebook Messenger last year, Match is bringing its dating chatbot Lara to Google Assistant.

The AI matchmaker uses contextual understanding and speech recognition to provide advice and guidance for dating in the digital age. Lara first launched in France in 2016, then rolled out to users in the UK in 2017.

Match's vice-president of Northern Europe, Abbie Oguntade, spoke to The Drum earlier this year about the bot’s success and future trajectory. Lara has driven a 30% increase in visitors to Match’s landing page in Europe, she said, and subscriptions have “heavily improved” as a result. A team of around 15 engineers and tech experts are working out of Match’s innovation hub to improve the assistant’s AI features.

Badoo Dropping Its Swiping Feature for Live Video

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Dating app Badoo, which boasts a record 388 million users, has announced that it will be dropping the swiping feature from its dating app. The company plans to replace swiping with a new feature called Badoo Live which features live video.

According to TechCrunch, Badoo received feedback from users that they were getting tired of swiping, and were looking for a “more authentic” way to online date. The company wanted users to be able to get a better glimpse of potential matches before making decisions to meet, and thought the best way to do this would be through video.

Badoo Live will be similar to Facebook Live, in that users will be able to message their matches while recording their own live video, offering instant interaction to build connection. People can also watch video in playback mode, also similar to Facebook Live. Badoo will also offer a “Badoo Live” tab that users can click on to see any live videos happening that moment.

Jdate, ChristianMingle, And Bumble Announce Expansions Abroad

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Singles in Europe and New Zealand just got a leg up in the romance game. Jdate, ChristianMingle, and Bumble - three of the biggest names in online dating - recently announced plans to expand their services abroad.

Spark Networks, parent company of Jdate and ChristianMingle, recently extended their services, languages, and local market support throughout Europe. Jdate is now available in German and Spanish, as well as English, Hebrew, and French. ChristianMingle is now available in French, Spanish, and German in addition to English. Both platforms will roll out Polish and Russian language support in the next few months.

Spark Networks attributes the expansions to user demand and says they are part of a broader initiative to further enable the global Jewish and Christian communities to try connect, communicate and find partners in their native language.

eHarmony Free Communication this Flag Day Weekend - 2018

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eHarmony is offering free communication to new and existing free members for Flag Day and this June weekend. It starts Thursday June 14th and runs to end of day on Monday June 18th for eHarmony members in the United States.

To participate in the eHarmony free communication event all you need is to sign up for a user account and create a profile. No credit card is required. Once you complete your profile and answer the personality questionnaire (which takes under 30 minutes) you will be sent your first set of matches (usually about 6). The people from these matches have been generated by the eHarmony matching algorithm to give you the best chance of creating a long term relationship. This is determined by a large number of factors found in your profile and questionnaire answers of both you and the match, and are based on the 29 dimensions of compatibility.

After you have looked over the matches profiles you can then proceed to send a message to any match you like. It is important to note, free communication events do not include profile photos. To view those you must have a paid membership.

eHarmony service can be accessed online a number of different ways. This include by their website at eHarmony.com and with the eHarmony phone and tablet apps which can be found at Google Play and at the Apple App Store.

For more about eHarmony, you can read our review.

Studies Reveal How Online Dating Can Mess With Your Mental Health

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Dating isn’t easy on the ego. The search for a soulmate is fraught with opportunities to be rejected, to be ghosted, to be stood up, to be dumped… almost no one escapes unscathed by Cupid’s cruelties.

Then along came online dating. It promised a vaster pool of potential matches than we could ever meet IRL and more control over our romantic lives. At its best, it successfully achieves both - but at its worst, it’s a festering cesspit of anxiety, racism, superficiality, sexism, catfishing, pseudo-intimacy, and trust issues.

Scientists and dating experts are increasingly questioning whether we have the mental resilience to cope with the modern dating landscape, and whether our beloved apps and websites are harming more than they’re helping.