Features

Grindr Shutters Digital Magazine 'INTO' After 17 Months

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INTO, the online LGBTQ publication owned and operated by Grindr, is no more. The company ended the digital magazine’s 14-month run by terminating its editorial staff on January 15 and announcing a pivot to video.

Grindr launched INTO in August 2017. The website featured news articles, op-eds, lifestyle content and advice columns for a modern LGBTQ audience. The launch was part of a larger effort to reframe Grindr as a lifestyle brand, not “just” a dating app, but the outlet’s journalism was praised and went on to win awards from The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.

In a statement shared with NBC News, a Grindr spokesperson called the decision to dismiss INTO's staff a "strategic shift in focus."

Tinder Testing New Spotify Sharing Feature

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Tech Crunch broke the news that popular dating app Tinder is teaming up with Spotify to test a new feature that allows users to share songs with each other.

The website reported that users could select songs from their own Spotify playlists to be shared via the in-app messenger, to engage users and get people to connect. Last year, the company unveiled another new feature allowing users to share Bitmoji and GIFs over the app’s messenger service, a move to increase engagement among social media savvy members.

The Spotify testing is currently taking place in different cities around the globe, but only with Spotify and no other streaming music service, according to Tech Crunch. The new feature was originally spotted by the blog MSPoweruser.

Mind Your Manners: The Inner Circle Introduces Online Etiquette Pledge

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The good, the bad, the ugly - it’s all part of the online dating experience. At their best, dating platforms help people connect and communicate with compatible partners they might never have met otherwise. At their worst, dating websites and apps are ground zero for ghosting, curving, catfishing, orbiting, breadcrumbing, prowling, pocketing, scrooging, cookie jarring, you-turning and countless other cutely-named but distressing dating behaviors.

Dating services are taking an increasingly strong stand against users who have forgotten their manners. Bumble has led the charge for years, making headlines by banning mirror selfies and profile pictures with deadly weapons. Other companies followed Bumble’s lead. Tinder asked users to swipe left on tiger photos. OkCupid introduced a Member Pledge to encourage more civil conversations. Grindr launched an initiative to curb racism and discrimination on its app.

Bumble Offers New Feature to Let You Filter by Astrological Sign

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Bumble is aligning itself with the stars in more ways than one – the female-friendly dating app now offers a new feature to let you filter your matches according to their astrological signs.

Bumble has allowed users to identify their own astrological signs in their profiles, but this marks the first time members will be able to filter matches by zodiac preferences. Bumble offers the filter across its platforms, including Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz.

The new feature is Bumble’s response to young daters’ growing interest in astrology when it comes to forming relationships. It’s trendy now to analyze your astrological sign to determine your behavioral tendencies and who you are most compatible with, and many users are embracing the move by expressing their support over social media.

Bumble Adds Feature to Allow You to Filter Matches

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Female-friendly app Bumble has added another new feature aimed at pleasing users and monetizing its offerings: the ability to filter matches not only on its dating platform, but also for its networking apps Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF.

The Filters feature allows users to sift through potential matches using a specific set of criteria, according to website Tech Crunch. One of the filters for Bumble Dating is by astrological sign, political leaning, or relationship type, and for Bumble Bizz you can filter by industry, for example. Users will be allowed to access two filters for free; they must pay for any additional filters.

The new feature is aimed at saving users time in their searches by limiting their choices to those who are most relevant to what they are looking for in a match, according to Tech Crunch.

Live Video Competition Battles Feature Rolls Out To MeetMe And Skout

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The Meet Group, a portfolio of brands in the mobile social networking and entertainment space, is rolling out a new feature called Battles on its MeetMe and Skout apps.

“Battles brings an exciting competitive dynamic to Live, and we are thrilled to bring this new feature to our users,” said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. “We believe that the addition of Battles will contribute to our growing video revenue run-rate, which exceeded $62 million annualized, based on the month of November, up from the $55 million number we reported in October. Momentum in video revenue has continued into December, and this past weekend we achieved the highest video revenue day in our history.”

Battles is The Meet Group’s latest bid to harness the power of streaming video. The feature brings together two livestreamers and their audiences for a live showdown. The competitors can challenge each other in a variety of categories ranging from music, to dance, to comedy and more. Each battle lasts only a few minutes. The winner is the streamer who earns the most diamonds by receiving gifts from viewers during the battle.