There’s a New Dating App for Slack called Feeld

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Slack, a popular messaging app used in workplaces to schedule meetings and chat with your co-workers, has entered into new territory. Now, you can date your co-workers over Slack, too.

Dating app Feeld announced its integration onto the Slack platform late April. It works like this: when you download the Feeld app in Slack, you can let the app know who of your colleagues you’re interested in. If Feeld notices your co-worker has admitted to being attracted to you, too, it will let both of you know and you can take it from there (and start your flirtatious messaging over Slack). If your co-worker doesn’t return the affection, he’s never alerted to your interest.

So essentially, you can get confirmation of your crush without him or her knowing.

LGBTQ Dating app OneGoodCrush offers Dating for Everyone

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There have been a lot of breakthroughs recently for the LGBTQ community. The Supreme Court ruled on the legality of gay marriage across America, overriding state laws that made it illegal. Caitlyn Jenner disclosed her transition from male to female in an interview with Diane Sawyer, and later showed off her new body in Vanity Fair to a public that embraced her. Celebrities like Ruby Rose and Miley Cyrus have recently stated that they identify as “gender-fluid,” or as both male and female, bringing gender identity conversations into the spotlight.

It only makes sense that in this moment of time where people feel more free than ever to live their truth – there is also a dating app that helps you find that special someone, no matter how you identify. At least, that is what OneGoodCrush aims to do.

Launched this week, OneGoodCrush aims to help people in the LGBTQ community find long-term relationships. But they aren’t limiting their potential user base. Founder Frank Mastronuzzi wants everyone to feel they can find someone special using the app, including those who identify as heterosexual, or who do not define themselves as male or female.

"We wanted to be inclusive of everyone -- even heterosexual people can use our app," he told USA Today. "Letters on LGBTQ keep adding over time, but wherever you fall on this spectrum, you have a place on this app."

OneGoodCrush connects users through their Facebook and Instagram accounts to pull photos and profile information. The app works like Tinder and other dating apps, where each user is presented with photos and profiles, allowing them to swipe left and right to reject or accept a match. But while other dating apps like Tinder and Grindr offer same-sex dating options, they are limited when it comes to allowing users to communicate their own gender identity. The big difference between OneGoodCrush and other dating apps is that its members can claim their own gender identity -- man, woman, transgender man, transgender woman, or queer -- and then choose the gender(s) they are seeking.

According to the company’s records, the app has so far attracted about 100,000 users since its soft launch three months ago. Of the users that have signed onto the app, 57% identify as gay, 37% identify as lesbian, 4% have identify as transgender, 1% identify as queer, and less than 1% identify as straight.

Having the ability to identify as a transgender seems obvious in online dating, but it hasn’t been the case. As Trish McDermott, Strategic Advisor for OneGoodCrush states: "It seems online dating is one of the last bastions separating people, and that is kind of mind blowing. I think the industry has a responsibility to invite everyone."

Tinderoid offers guys a new way to Tinder

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Tinder has become incredibly popular in the last couple of years, thanks to its game-like format of swiping left and right, and to its easy set-up. There’s no time-consuming process of writing a profile and anguishing over what to say in your messages. You cut to the chase: yes or no.

But now, people are looking for easier ways to date than even Tinder can provide. For those daters, there’s a new app for that called Tinderoid, short for Tinder on Steroids.

This app is mainly catering to the male Tinder users and online daters, especially ones who feel they aren’t getting enough matches. With online dating, guys send out mass emails when they aren't getting responses, hoping someone will email back. It increases the odds, at least. With Tinder, guys are adopting the strategy of saying “yes” to every match, and are just swiping right without even looking at photos. They figure if they swipe right to as many candidates as possible, their chances of getting dates (or getting laid) increases significantly.

But all that swiping right can apparently be tiring.

Tinderoid adds features to Tinder that its creators think are missing, one of them being the ability for a user to like everyone in their area. Tinderoid founder Mike (he provides no last name) tells website TechVibes that a user can like as many as 10,000 potential matches in a few seconds.

Then you can skip all that swiping and order a beer, waiting for matches to roll in.

This isn’t the only new feature Tinderoid added. The app also allows users to search for potential matches using keywords, and view multiple results at the same time. So instead of looking at people one by one, you can select a bunch at a time, and again – see who bites.

And while Tinder doesn’t have an iPad app, Tinderoid offers support for the tablet’s larger screen.

According to Mike, the app is currently available for iOS and has been downloaded over 100,000 times. It has over 5,000 five-star reviews on the iTunes store, I’m guessing from its male user base.

Will this be helpful to daters in the long run? Maybe for some guys, but not for most daters. Women tend to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of matches and messages they can get when they are online dating, get frustrated, and stop using the service, and it’s no different with Tinder. Women are still more likely to swipe left, mostly because of tactics like this, where guys tend to always say yes, even if they might not be all that attracted or interested in a particular woman. They are just seeing who they can get.

Tinderoid is only available on iTunes, but the company is working on an Android version. It is free to download, but if you want all ads removed it costs $2.99.

New Dating App Mashr Plays Matchmaker via your Phone

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Ever wanted to be set up by a friend? Or have you been introduced to a potential date over Facebook by a mutual Facebook friend? If you prefer meeting dates through friends rather than strangers, you might be interested to know there’s now an app for making these types of introductions.

This idea isn’t a new one. Jess Meet Ken is an online dating service that allows you to set up your single guy friends by recommending them to your Facebook friends. Hinge and CoffeeMeetsBagel are both matchmaking apps that introduce you to potential dates via your circle of friends on Facebook. Even Tinder got into the matchmaking game over a year ago with its service Matchmaker, which allowed its users to introduce their Facebook friends to each other. Tinder has since phased out this feature.

But Mashr insists it is doing things a little differently and will be successful, because unlike Tinder, it is making matchmaking the core of its user experience.

Mashr is pretty straightforward. One user pairs two of her friends together, offering an explanation on why they should meet. If both of them agree, Mashr makes the connection, much like Tinder.

Although this can get embarrassing for the matchmaker. If one friend passes, the other friend knows it, and what if they happen to run into each other in real life, since they are in circles of mutual friends? It could get a little murky, as with any friendship-based set-ups.

It could be argued that this is a model that works in the real world in an organic way, so over an app, it just increases your chances to meet a good (and vetted) match. Mashr Co-Founder Brian Nichols told Tech Crunch in a recent interview, “I know Tinder is all the rage these days, but does it really make sense to meet with a complete stranger? Wouldn’t it make sense (and be safer) if you were connected by a friend to your future significant other?”

Nichols maintains that people are more likely to say “yes” to a date if their friends are recommending them, rather than easily rejecting a stranger after looking at a couple of pictures over Tinder.

“People are on Tinder for themselves, to play the game of Tinder,” Nichols tells Tech Crunch.

But Mashr is also making a bit of a game out of its app with MashPlay, which is a timed game where you try to match as many of your friends together as quickly as possible. MashFeed shows all the matches people are making, not just the ones that say “yes” to each other, which seems a little TMI for users.

Hinge, CoffeeMeetsBagel, and JessMeetKen are all matchmaking-based apps competing for the same users. We’ll see how Mashr stacks up.

The Newest Way To Meet Your Match: Spitting In A Tube

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Yes, you read that correctly. When you friends ask how you met the love of your life, your answer could begin with “Well, I spit in a tube, and…”

It’s probably not the romantic origin story you were expecting, but it’s certainly one of the most high tech. SingldOut.com claims to be the first online dating site to make matches based on your DNA (I don't think it is as the now defunct Scientific Match tried DNA matching back in 2008). The site is partnered with Instant Chemistry, a service that uses psychology and DNA testing to determine "biological compatibility" in a long-term relationship. Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up for a SingldOut membership
  • Get an Instant Chemistry DNA kit in the mail
  • Spit into the enclosed tube
  • Pack it up in the included prepaid envelope, then ship it back to Instant Chemistry
  • Take a psychological assessment online
  • Receive your results, which are posted to your online dating profile, a week later

Instant Chemstiry tests two "markers" in order to determine compatibility. The first is the serotonin uptake transporter, which is involved in how people react to positive and negative emotions. The second are the genes influencing your immune system.

Research shows there is a strong correlation between people in long-term relationships having different (but complementary) versions of the serotonin and immune system genes, but the science is still in its infancy. SingldOut is “looking at a very small number of genes, and you simply cannot extrapolate a prediction from those genes to long-term compatibility," says Mike Dougherty, director of education for the American Society of Human Genetics. It’s impossible to ignore the other genes and environmental factors that come into play during the complex process of attraction.

These days DNA seems to be the pinnacle of science. There are diets designed around your DNA. Crimes are solved via DNA. You can screen for diseases using your DNA. You can learn about your ancestors by your DNA. It’s no surprise that a company is now attempting to bring dating by DNA to the masses, though even they point out that it’s a stretch to consider DNA a top factor in the choice of a partner.

Is it a conceptually interesting prospect? Yes. Is it effective? Perhaps, when used in conjunction with more traditional methods. Is it deterministic? Absolutely not. Not yet anyway , but aren’t you a least a little bit intrigued at the idea of living in a sci-fi future in which we can be matched with perfect partners based on our biology?

Membership to SingldOut is priced at $199 for three months, $249 for six months or $299 for 12 months. 

Matchmaking Service eLove Addressing Legal Disputes with Unhappy Customers

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Dating apps and online dating sites have taken the place of many personalized matchmaking services. Thirty years ago, singles who wanted to meet people outside of their networks joined a matchmaking service or placed an ad in the paper, as their options were limited. Using a matchmaking service involved a basic process: the customer would look through video profiles on VHS tapes, screening potential dates to see whether or not they would want to meet in person – much like sifting through profiles on an online dating site. Now, matchmaking services have to offer a little extra personalization if they want to compete with a free dating app.

Matchmaking services don’t come cheap. Because they market themselves as personalized services, catering to specific client needs, they often charge thousands of dollars.

Matchmaking service eLove has gone through a couple of incarnations – first known as LoveAccess until it was acquired by International Dating Ventures and became eLove, but has always been a matchmaking service. Now, the company is finding itself in hot water with dozens of its clients. It has an F rating and 143 complaints listed against it with the Better Business Bureau, mostly due to promises it makes about “referrals” that don’t actually happen.

According to The Courant, One 70-year old female client was promised 33 referrals (or dates) plus a VIP service for the hefty price of $7,000. A year later, she’d only received a handful of referrals, most at the beginning of her membership. A total of six referrals were made to her, costing her over $1,000 per referral. One of the men she met wasn’t even a member of eLove.

Another female client paid $6,000 and received only one referral, which was a phone call – not even an in-person date. And a third female client, a licensed psychologist who was 75 years old at the time she joined eLove, paid $9,566 last year for 16 introductions. After meeting only three men, including one she says who arrived drunk, she requested a refund. When eLove refused, she sought the refund, damages and punitive damages for breach of contract.

Instead of going to court, eLove agreed to settle with one unhappy customer so far. The other cases are still pending.

Should you join a personalized matchmaking service? With all the technology available at your fingertips, many daters don’t think it’s worth it. But for those who lead busy lives and just don’t find the time to meet potential dates, or for those who are nervous about getting back into dating and want a little hand-holding, it’s a valuable resource.

As with any service you decide to use, make sure you check it out first. Know how they are rated, how many complaints are filed against them, and what types of complaints. If the price seems a little high, or there is no obligation on their part in the fine print, you need to consider another service.