Russia Launching New Dating App Lovina on its Most Popular Social Platform

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Russia’s largest social media platform VKontakte is going head-to-head with Tinder and Badoo by launching its own dating app.

According to The Moscow Times, VKontakte’s Lovina is a video-centric dating app, offering a video chat option to people who like each other over the app and a “carousel” of short videos for a quick communication between random users who are browsing through the app. Executives behind Lovina say that providing video as the main way for users to connect is a better method than what traditional dating apps like Tinder offer, because video is much more revealing than photos or a written profile. Plus, there’s less chance of someone faking a video compared to photos.

Challengr App Encourages Users To ‘Swipe Less, Live More’

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Challengr Logo

Ask singles what they don’t like about dating apps and the grievances come pouring in. Profiles are too shallow. Pictures are heavily filtered or edited. Swiping to match is too superficial. Messages are cut and pasted. Conversations rarely lead to a date. Ghosting.

Garrett Fritz, an MIT aerospace engineer who began his career building helicopter simulators, aims to address these complaints with a new dating platform. Challengr requires users to create and respond to ‘Challenges’ within the app in order to match. A Challenge is a text-based question, dare, or thought that you think represents yourself or your ideal match. It could be as simple as “What was the last podcast you listened to?” or as intense as “Show me a video of you bench pressing your bodyweight.”

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.