Communication

Could Hackers Spy on Your Tinder Account?

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Image: wired

The next time you swipe right on a Tinder match when you’re sitting at a bar, consider that hackers might be taking notes.

Website MarketWatch reported that vulnerabilities were found in the popular app, exposing users to hackers. The vulnerability stems from Tinder not using encryption on users’ photos. Instead, they use a basic HTTP, an unsecure older protocol, rather than HTTPS. This means when you swipe, hackers have the ability to see not only profiles, but the actions you take with swiping, super-liking, and rejecting photos as well. Think of it as someone looking over your shoulder as you’re swiping.

Tech Times reported that users aren’t at risk of spies seeing their actions when they are swiping at home over a private Internet connection, but they are when using public WiFi networks.

Snap Interactive Announces Blockchain-Based Video Messaging Service

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Following the announcement that it has launched a multipoint strategy to embrace blockchain technology, Snap Interactive has announced the first new product of the initiative: a video-enabled secure messaging system.

Called Backchannel, the service enables real-time text, voice, and video messaging between both individuals and groups. It will leverage blockchain and other decentralization technologies to offer unique security benefits, furthering SNAP’s mission to provide global communication platforms with an emphasis on privacy.

Backchannel will adopt the end-to-end and forward secrecy encryption best practices currently used by communication apps like Telegram and WhatsApp. It will also authenticate users with a crypto identity that requires no personally identifiable information. With no link to the real-world identity of its users, Backchannel can never be subject to legal demands for disclosure and no personal data can ever be stolen by hackers.

Hinge Takes On Ghosting With ‘Your Turn’ Feature

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Bumble changed the game when it launched in 2014 and required female users to make the first move. Now Hinge is offering its own take on conversation, and it hopes the new feature will help combat one of online dating’s biggest scourges.

After focus grouping, surveying, and beta testing, Hinge found that conversations frequently fizzled out simply because users had forgotten to respond. To offer a gentle reminder, the company has introduced ‘Your Turn’, a feature that lets users decide – regardless of gender – who makes the first move, and politely prompts you when it’s your turn to respond.

This addresses one of digital dating’s most stubborn problems. Conversations often start strong but are later abandoned - or, as Hinge’s research discovered, are unintentionally forgotten. Your Turn is a tiny-but-effective nudge to remind you that someone is waiting to hear back. In early tests, the feature was found to reduce ghosting by 25 percent.

Feeld Launches New Augmented Reality Dating App Signal

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Augmented Reality is the future of dating, at least according to the folks at Feeld. The company whose original app was marketed to those interested in threesomes is betting their new app Signal will be revolutionary for the online dating market.

Signal will hit the market in the summer of 2018 according to Feeld. It works by giving members access to a secret location visible through the app, allowing them to meet people this way instead of endless matching and messaging.

The company notes that most dating apps operate in a way that is counterproductive to what people want. Instead of encouraging folks to meet in real life and leave the app, the apps have created a game-like stickiness. App users become addicted to swiping and being on the app rather than pursuing “real-life” relationships.

Plenty Of Fish Launches ‘Conversation Powers’ To Keep Users Talking

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Plenty Of Fish made 2017 the year of getting back to basics. While other dating services introduced features seemingly designed to require less communication (looking at you, Tinder Reactions), POF has been all about the chitchat.

First, the company sponsored Conversation Nation, which it claims is the largest study ever conducted on the importance of conversation in the search for love. Inspired by what it learned from the survey, POF went on to update its iOS and Android apps with a new feature called Spark designed to help singles break the ice easily.

"With more conversations than any other dating app, Plenty of Fish is focused on bringing conversation back to singles," Hesam Hosseini, POF’s CEO, said at the time. "In the short time we've been testing Spark, we've seen a 15 percent increase in conversations. Given our scale, this can result in an increase of hundreds of thousands of conversations happening every day on the app, leading to more dates and more relationships – and it is just our first step to bring the art of conversation back to dating."

OkCupid Is Overhauling Its Communication System To Reduce Unwanted Messages

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Any company needs to evolve in order to stay relevant, and given the especially speedy pace at which the world of online dating advances, it’s even more important for companies in the industry to regularly innovate.

OkCupid has remained a leading name in the market since its launch 13 years ago. But that also makes it one of the older names, facing stiff competition from younger upstarts like Tinder and Bumble.

To ensure it remains a go-to for singles in an increasingly saturated industry, OkCupid has announced a major update to its messaging system. Open messaging - which allows any user to contact any other user without restrictions - will be eliminated a favor of a system more akin to those of Bumble and Tinder, in which only users who have indicated interest in each other can easily access each other's conversations.