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Match Group Buys Rival Dating App Hinge

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This week, Match Group announced it has acquired dating app Hinge. According to the press release, the deal gives Match Group a 51 percent stake in the company. Match first started buying shares in Sept of 2017 and has the option to buy remaining shares of Hinge within the next year.

Hinge has spent the last few years revamping its image and features, creating an app that countered Tinder’s hook-up reputation, and aimed to create a space for more serious daters. This included dumping its initial Tinder-like swiping feature and allowing clients to build profiles more like traditional online dating sites. Interestingly, Match Group (which owns Tinder) initially invested in Hinge in the fall of 2017, soon after it debuted its new design.

Hinge is most popular among “urban, educated millennial women looking for relationships,” according to Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg. It has also grown its user base to “five times what it was a year ago,” according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, making it an attractive purchase for Match Group.

Dating App Her Launches Community Feature to Engage Users

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Dating app Her (orginally called Dattch), designed exclusively by and for queer women, is expanding its focus to bring women together in conversation as well as for dating. Its new Community feature provides a forum for users to get updates on news and exchange ideas, expanding the app’s purpose beyond forging romantic ties.

Launched in time for Pride month in June, Her’s new feature allows for users to connect with each other around certain topics of interest to the community. In other words, a place to gather around the watercooler, but online. According to website TechCrunch, the first set of community groups includes a space for queer women of color, one centered around mindfulness and wellbeing and another for news and entertainment. App creators plan to launch more groups in the future, including pop-up forums around specific events, or even user-generated communities.

Users would be able to follow a person’s feed or post messages to a community board.

Tinder Tests Two-Second Looping Video Feature

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Tinder changed the game when it popularized the swipe. Now the company is hoping a new movement-based feature will keep it on top of the mobile dating heap. Introducing Loops, two-second looping videos that promise to put more personality in profiles and “set your swipe game in motion.”

“Loops represents the next step in the evolution of our classic profile,” Brian Norgard, Chief Product Officer at Tinder, said in a statement. “With the addition of video, users have a new way to express themselves while also gaining key insights into the lives of potential matches. Whether it’s dancing at a concert, doing cartwheels on the beach, or clinking glasses with friends, Loops makes profiles come alive.”

Like Vine (RIP) and Boomerang before them, Loops allow users to upload videos from their phone and trim the footage within the app. The result is a short, repetitive clip that gives users another way of expressing their most dateable selves.

Dating App Pheramor Matches Using Your DNA

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There’s another new dating app with a catchy hook debuting this month, this time involving your DNA. Pheramor, described by news website Wired as “23andMe meets Tinder meets monogamy” matches its users according to their genetic compatibility. The dating app launched this month in Houston, Texas.

For $19.99, Pheramor will mail you a kit so you can submit your saliva samples for testing. Then for an additional $10 per month, you can use the service and start receiving genetic-compatible matches.

The company was founded by two genetics experts, so the science figures prominently into the matching process. If chemistry is detected through pheromones, then why not assume romance and love will follow? Pheramor is trying to separate itself from the hook-up reputation of Tinder and appeal to more serious daters.

Study Reveals Which Dating Apps Are Most Popular (And Which Get Deleted First)

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Dating apps happily boast about their sign-up rates or the number of marriages they’ve created, but they’re understandably reluctant to release less flattering figures. How many users actually stick with an app once they’ve created a profile? How many let their account lapse, or delete the app altogether? Which apps are most quickly abandoned?

In pursuit of more juicy data, mobile data company Ogury sampled more than six million mobile user profiles from its network to take a deep dive into usage habits around the world. They focused on users in the US, UK, France, Italy, and Spain who had used dating apps within the six months between January and June 2017. To present the most balanced findings, they were were careful to maintain an identical male to female ratio in each region.

Ogury’s results reveal a landscape that may surprise online dating’s biggest advocates. One chart in the report shows that dating app longevity leaves something to be desired, with most app uninstalls occuring within the first day of usage. Zoosk users, at 44.1%, are most likely to uninstall in less than 24 hours, followed by Grindr at 33.6% and Tinder at 32.9%.

Wrapping up the Debate: Have Dating Apps Killed Romance?

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Do dating apps kill the romance of dating, or are they actually helping bring more people together? A lively debate on this topic was held the night of February 6th in New York, with a panel of experts arguing for and against the motion: Dating Apps Have Killed Romance.

Let’s face it, if you’ve tried online dating, or had a friend who’s dabbled in it (more than 49 million Americans have), chances are you’ve heard a few horror stories. This was the focus of the argument from Eric Klinenberg, co-author with Aziz Ansari of the book Modern Romance, and Manoush Zamoroti, podcast host and journalist who argued for the motion. Citing stories of dates and relationships gone wrong, they argued that not only have dating apps killed romance, they have killed civility among daters. Ultimately, apps have changed the dating culture, and not for the better.

They argued that online dating specifically breeds bad behavior, because people are able to hide behind a screen – or worse, they have stopped interacting or knowing how to interact in real life. Zamoroti gave an example of one of her podcast listeners walking into a bar and seeing a line of single men ordering drinks and swiping on Tinder, ignoring the people around them completely. Plus, some online daters have become emboldened to send lude messages online, which makes the experience even more painful and depressing for other daters.