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Dating App Lulu Becomes Part of Online Dating Service Badoo

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Badoo Acquires Lulu

Lulu, a dating app designed to help women rate and share information about the men they date, has become part of online dating giant Badoo.

Lulu has had an interesting history. Founded in 2011 by Alexandra Chong, the app was originally created to help women have a safer online dating experience by encouraging them to communicate with other women over the app about the men they dated. Users were given the ability to rate their dates according to looks, humor, ambition, and even sexual prowess. They could also add pre-made hashtags for more detailed examples describing a man, like #OneWomanMan, #WillActSilly or #EpicLaugh.

The app took off among women, but men felt they were being unfairly judged or even bullied by women using the app. Some complained that the app itself was sexist and shallow. Since these reports, Lulu has allowed men to see their ratings, hashtags, and edit information about themselves.

Chong has been named President of Badoo in the deal, and will be seeing global expansion for the Badoo brand as well as managing Lulu in-house. "Badoo is a natural fit for the Lulu community. In line with Lulu’s vision, Badoo is committed to providing the very best online dating experiences for women in particular,” Chong said in a statement released by Badoo. She added that Badoo’s CEO Andrey Andreev and his team “have done an outstanding job growing the product into a truly global community offering a unique local experience for its users.”

Despite being in the shadows of more well-known sites like Plenty of Fish and Match, Badoo is a major player in the online dating world. The service was founded in 2006, has 300 million users in 190 countries around the world, and 60 million monthly active users. An average active user spends 1.8 hours on Badoo per day, the company says.

Lulu isn’t the first dating app to join Badoo – the company has a portfolio of apps under its belt as well, including the popular Hot or Not and Blendr.

With the acquisition, Lulu’s users will be able to access the profiles and connect with Badoo’s extensive database of users. Instead of just being a messaging and ratings app, it will be a full-fledged dating service.

The big question for Lulu’s future is murky. Current reviews in the Apple and Android stores aren’t favorable. Many people liked the rating system the app pioneered, and are unsatisfied with its new premise, which shows users who on the app is nearby and who they just passed or bumped into, in order to begin a conversation or start dating.

Since launching in the US, the Lulu app has been downloaded by more than 6 million people and is on the phone of one in four US female university undergraduates.

To find out more about the dating service which purchased Lulu you can read our review of Badoo.

Female-Centric Dating Apps are on the Rise

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Bye Felipe has become an Instagram sensation, with female daters posting their awkward, annoying, uncomfortable and sometimes even harassing message trail with other online daters, mainly men. It seems that in the wake of Tinder’s popularity, there have been a few casualties and women are looking for a more genuine tool to meet guys, sans the weird pick-up lines.

While there isn’t a dating app that can screen or prevent all creeps from making their way into your matching possibilities, at least some apps give women the power to decide what we will and will not tolerate.

Following are a few to watch for in 2015:

Bumble

Bumble. While I’m not a fan of how this app came about – it’s the brainchild of Whitney Wolfe, one of the former Tinder executives who also filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against co-founder Justin Mateen. And since she walked away with a bit of money from a settlement, she has decided to launch her own dating app, where women decide who they want to meet (and have 24 hours to make that decision before the option disappears). According to its marketing, the app “promotes a safe and respectful community…Bumble suggests matches based on more relevant signals than other, more shallow apps.”

LuLu

LuLu. This has been around for a couple of years, allowing women to rate their dates and share information about men with other female app users. While LuLu sounds like it has the potential to be a giant slam book, many women also use it to promote their guy friends who are looking for love – kind of an online voucher for a guy’s character. The Grade is another new app that has a similar kind of review system through – you guessed it – grading them. If you get an “F” guys? You’re off the site.

Siren

Siren. True to its name, Siren allows women to put a question out to men they choose on the site (or to all men in their area) to schedule a last-minute date. For instance, a woman could ask: “want to meet up for a jog?” - and then see who responds. She can also browse profiles in private without revealing herself.

JessMeetKen

JessMeetKen. This online dating site works through Facebook connections, and allows women to post a profile of their male friends who are looking for love, recommending them to other women. (Think of that guy you really like but just aren’t attracted to.) The guys all come recommended by a woman, so it’s less likely the men you’ll be meeting will be creepers, which makes it worth it even if you aren’t a match.

Happy dating!

Map Shows Your State’s Favorite Word To Use In Online Dating

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United States Map

How much do people in Indiana love auto racing? So much that NASCAR is the most frequently used word in online dating profiles from the state.

Mashable recently teamed up with Match.com to analyze thousands of US-based online dating profiles and discover how daters differ from state to state. Anyone who ventures into the untamed wilds of online dating quickly discovers the same words and phrases appear over and over again. Surprise: it turns out that pretty much everyone likes all music except country. Yawn.

Tired of feeling like all online dating profiles are the same, Mashable and Match broke down which words are used with relative frequency in certain states, compared to relative frequency in the rest of the country. If you're in the mood for making the most cliché online dating profile possible, find your location on this map and see what daters in your state are most obsessed with.

Here are a few highlights:

  • California: desert
  • New York: museum
  • Texas: oil
  • Florida: Disney
  • Alaska: cabin
  • Georgia: grilling
  • Hawaii: surf
  • Nevada: casino (duh)

Match and Mashable aren't the only ones who recently delved into state-by-state dating. The dating app Lulu (think Yelp, but for ranking and reviewing men) did some research to find out who the most popular man in each state is. Female Lulu users can anonymously rate men they know on everything from looks, to ambition, to relationships. to, yes, sex. Lulu also recently introduced anonymous messages and questions called "Truth Bombs.”

As you can probably imagine, the app was controversial when it first launched, but Lulu has since cleaned up its image and allowed men to sign up for the service. They can’t rate women, but they can promote their profiles.

The men in this experiment (all Lulu users themselves) were rated on a scale of 1-10 by women who know them. Business Insider reports: “While there are no perfect scores in the US, a man in Texas and a man in Illinois men both received a 9.7 score. Their friends used the following hashtags to describe them: ‘#DoesDishes,’ ‘#RemembersBirthdays,’ and ‘#OneOfTheGoodOnes.’”

All descriptions in Lulu are hashtags, because longer free-form answers could earn the writer an accusation of libel. Some of the top hashtags include #OpensDoors, #CaptainFun, #MakesMeLaugh, #RespectsWomen, #AlwaysHappy, #CanTalkToMyDad, #NerdyButILikeIt, and the simple but effective #NotADick.

For a full list of the winning men, see the original post on Business Insider. For more on one of the dating services that conducted the study please read our review of Match.com.

Rating Your Dates: Does it Make for Better Dating?

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Judgment and dating go hand in hand. Even before online dating became so popular, singles would assess their dates based on a few traits they deemed important – like sense of humor, work ethic, kindness, or how hot they looked in a pair of jeans - to see whether or not they were worth a second date. But at least you could go on a first date knowing essentially nothing, hoping for the best. You had to deal with the element of surprise before you were allowed to judge.

Now, all of the mystery has been removed from dating. Dating websites like OkCupid allow you not only to see the profiles of potential dates and pick them apart, but you can also see ratings given by other people (that is, if you pay $10 for the premium service). If one of your matches gets two stars out of five, you’d be less likely to ask him/ her out. After all, aren’t we influenced by the opinions of others?

The more important question is: should we be so influenced, especially when it comes to meeting someone for the first time?

Dating apps like Lulu are focused solely on reviews. The app was intended to be a place where women could get feedback about potential dates before they decided to go out with them, kind of a girlfriend safety mechanism. But it is actually more like a Yelp for dating – where women rate guys according to their looks, how they behaved on a date, sense of humor, and other qualities. So if a guy receives a low score, women who check him out on Lulu would probably avoid dating him.

The problem with this rating system is two-fold. First, the numbers can be skewed. Sure, maybe the guy is a jerk and has twenty women who will agree with that assessment. Then his low rating makes sense, and other women would want to know before going out with him. However, if a guy only has a couple of reviews, and one of them is from a jilted ex, then it brings his overall score down. In fact, what’s to stop any woman from retaliation through Lulu’s rating system?

The second problem with Lulu’s system is that it disqualifies too many potential dates based on factors that might not be important to every woman. For instance, maybe a man’s sense of humor rates low because the women he’s been out with didn’t understand his quirky style. Does that mean you – his next potential date – shouldn’t go out with him? What if his sense of humor is exactly your type?

Rating systems serve a good purpose in dating as far as warning women of potentially bad dates. But if you base whether or not to take a chance on someone solely on a rating system, you are severely limiting your options. Because you never know who the right guy for you is until you actually meet him.

Women can Rate their Dates on Lulu

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Have you ever come back from a bad date, wanting to warn other women about how badly it went and how much of a jerk he was? Well, now you have that opportunity.

Lulu, a female-friendly social networking app, provides a way for women to communicate to other women privately about a man they have dated. And while there might be more motivation to rate a guy negatively after a date gone wrong, there are also some positive reviews following good dates.

On Lulu, a woman can rate men in different categories, like ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, friend or relative and then take a multiple-choice quiz which gives him his rating from 1 to 10. Female users can also add hashtags, depending on what specifically they want to communicate to other women, like #neversleepsover.

Users are verified by their Facebook logins - women can only review and read reviews of guys who are Facebook friends. Everyone who participates must sign up through Facebook. The site assures users that nothing is ever posted publicly on Facebook, however.

Though the site is designed for ladies (founders Alexandra Chong and Alison Schwartz felt like women needed more of a safety net when meeting men they didn't know for a date) - men can use it in a limited way, too. They are allowed to see how they are faring in terms of reviews when they download the app and check "My Stats" (with Facebook verification). They can also add photos and hashtags about themselves. Some men ask their friends and family members to review them since Lulu provides the option.

And what about the obvious question - can women use Lulu as a type of revenge site against an ex-boyfriend?

Lulu's website claims that they have built a lot of protection into the app so a man's reputation won't be undeservedly damaged. Unlike Yelp, the reviews are multiple choice quizzes, so women can't leave long rants about specifics. Second, the guy and girl must be Facebook friends. Women are able to agree or disagree with the assessments of other women, so one review doesn't skew the rating. And if a guy doesn't want to be reviewed on Lulu at all? He has the option to remove himself completely.

Chong claims that the app was conceived with the end goal in mind - figuring out if a man was kind and date-worthy, rather figuring out if you should meet him based on his particular likes and dislikes from a dating profile. Lulu provides some sense of security, which is a welcome addition to the dating scene.