New Dating App Dine is Focused on the Date...and Where to Eat

  • Monday, May 16 2016 @ 09:01 am
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Dine Dating App Restaurant List

There seems to be a new dating app launching every week. In such a crowded market, you’d think investors and developers would shy away from creating something new, but it seems everyone is trying to take a piece of the dating market away from Tinder.

However, I came across a new app trying in a more interesting way to differentiate itself from the popular app – not by being more “female-focused” or offering profile verification as other competing apps are doing, but by focusing on what the actual goal is – the real-life date.

Dating app Dine offers users a chance to match not only through common interests, but through restaurant preferences. According to the company, the goal is to get you from an online match to an actual date – dinner or drinks – as quickly as possible. (Avoiding the Tinder problem of messaging endlessly with no results.) The app is integrated with Yelp to offer local eating choices.

Dine is owned by Mrk & Co., founded by veterans of Japanese gaming giant DeNA, which Nintendo partnered with to bring its games to Smartphones last year. But Dine isn’t incorporating the game-like elements of Tinder or its parent companies' popular games in its dating app. Its premise is similar to dating website How About We, where people can search for matches based on ideas they come up with for a first date. But Dine is all about the eating experience.

The concept of Dine is simple: After filling out your profile, you pick three restaurants or bars where you’d want to meet for a date. Dine offers you 2-5 potential matches per day, along with which three places they chose, so you can request to go on a date at a particular location.

When you send someone a date request and they match (accept), you can message each other. However – Dine provides users with suggested messages ready to go, with the language focused on scheduling a date and time for your meet-up. Of course you can erase their suggestions and add your own message, but the app is focused on getting you to set the date and meet in person.

According to an article in Business Insider, about half of accepted requests lead to actual dates within a two-week period, at least for the beta phase of the Dine app launch.

Dine has now launched all over the U.S. and Canada. Also noteworthy: Apple was impressed enough with the concept to feature it on its list of "best new apps".

YouTube Was Originally Supposed To Be A Video Dating Website

  • Friday, May 13 2016 @ 09:39 am
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YouTube was a Dating Site

In 2016, there’s no question about YouTube’s place in the world. The streaming site is the go-to destination for music videos, comedy sketches, makeup tutorials, adorable pets, and any other video whim the internet has. But before it was so firmly entrenched in popular culture, YouTube had an entirely different aim: dating.

According to co-founder Steve Chen, who recently spoke at the 2016 South By Southwest conference, YouTube was initially conceived as a way for singles to upload videos of themselves talking about the future partner they hope to meet.

“We always thought there was something with video there, but what would be the actual practical application?” Chen said, according to CNET. “We thought dating would be the obvious choice.” Chen and his co-founders, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim, launched a site with a simple slogan: Tune In, Hook Up. Five days later, not a single video had been uploaded.

In desperation, the team took matters into their own hands. “Realizing videos of anything would be better than no videos, I populated our new dating site with videos of 747s taking off and landing," Karim told Motherboard. They took out ads on Craigslist in Las Vegas and Los Angeles and offered to pay women $20 to upload videos of themselves to the site. Again, they came up short.

The co-founders made the decision to ditch the dating aspect entirely. Early adopters began using YouTube to share videos of all kinds - pets, vacations, performances, anything. YouTube took on a new meaning, got a physical makeover, and this time, it worked.

Although YouTube’s matchmaking element was a bust, it’s an interesting origin story that has inspired a small amount of superstition in its founders. Chen noted that they registered the domain name YouTube on February 14 - "Just three guys on Valentine's Day that had nothing to do," he said.

Today YouTube is hardly “nothing.” It was acquired by Google for a $1.65 billion in 2006. It has launched the careers of many stars, from Justin Bieber to Swedish gamer PewDiePie. The company is nothing short of an empire.

Chen now has a new project in the works. He was at SxSW with Vijay Karunamurthy, an early engineering manager at YouTube, in support of their new startup, Nom. The service describes itself as “a community for food lovers to create, share and watch their favorite stories in real-time.” The food-focused site, which lets chefs and foodies broadcast live video of their edible adventures, launched in March.

New Dating App Blume Claims to Solve the Catfishing Problem

  • Monday, December 21 2015 @ 12:23 pm
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There’s a new dating app on the market, and this one puts safety first in a big way. Blume has just launched an app that claims to solve the catfishing problem in online dating.

If you’ve been online dating, you’re probably familiar with the term catfishing. It happens when one online dater tries to deceive another online dater by lying about who he is, his intentions, even his photos and Facebook profile. Usually, people trying to “catfish” other online daters are trying to gain access to financial or personal information, taking advantage of someone else’s vulnerability.

Many dating apps have tried to address the problem by providing “verification” of some sort for everyone who joins a website, usually by having you sign up with your Facebook profile. But some have managed to get around the restrictions, taking advantage of other online daters by sending fake pictures and messages.

Blume has gone one step further by making verification part of the communication process. When you are ready to message someone you mutually “like” (similar to Tinder’s swipe), you cannot proceed without first taking a selfie in that moment. Only when both matches take and send the selfie so each can compare and make sure it’s the same person – are they allowed to communicate. (This might also prompt some late-night hair and make-up attention – instead of hanging out and swiping in your pajamas, one of the benefits to online dating.) You have seven seconds to compare the photos (like Snapchat) before they disappear. Once you take the selfies and they are accepted, then you can begin chatting.

While this is a compelling hook and many people do enjoy taking selfies, this might also be a detraction for using the app. Most of us want to appear camera-ready, and might not like the way we look in selfies, or want to spend time taking the right picture, in the right light, in the right outfit (of course). One benefit is that the photo disappears – but a potential hazard is that you might think your curated profile won’t look the same as your selfie – and that your date might not think you’re the same person.

Not to mention, if you like to sit at the bar or restaurant swiping Tinder while waiting for your friends, this would not bode well for Blume. A poorly lit bar with lots of people around might not be the ideal time to take a selfie for some people. Or even sitting in a café having a coffee.

But if you’re willing to give it a shot and take your chances with your selfies, go for it. It might be the latest online dating craze.

New Dating App Once Offers Personal Matchmaking

  • Tuesday, November 24 2015 @ 06:55 am
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Looking for a new dating app? It’s not hard to find something besides Tinder – it seems a new dating app launches every week, each with its own particular spin. But the new U.K. launch of dating app Once has got my attention, because it offers something the other apps don’t – real human matchmakers in place of computer algorithms. (We are now going back to basics with online dating.)

Once works like this: once every 24 hours, users will get a hand-picked match to either decline or accept within the next 24 hours. Dates are carefully chosen using several criteria, including interests, looks and personal preferences.

With Once, there is no auto-swiping or endless browsing or location matching like you find on apps like Tinder because the match is personally curated. But it also means as a dater, you have to have patience, because you only get one match a day.  After all, the human matchmakers have a lot of other people to cater to, not just you, and this takes time.

But patience can work in your favor, and often leaves you more interested to tuning in and seeing who your featured match will be. Chances are, you’ll accept more matches when you don’t have an endless array of potential dates to choose from – and because it’s a bit more personal, instead of computer-generated choices. The thinking is that you and your hand-picked date will have some things in common, and the likelihood of relationship success will be greater. The jury is still out on this, as Once hasn’t been on the market long enough to see results.

The dating app recently launched in France, and managed to gain 100,000 users in only a couple of weeks. Once has now launched in the UK, where real-life matchmakers will be picking daters to match in London.

"People are fed up with having just to sit and swipe through hundreds of people in the hope that they might find one person who they like and then start a conversation with," said Jean Meyer, the CEO and founder of Once in an interview with Mashable. He also noted the time-saving aspect of his app: “With Once, we’re taking that responsibility on ourselves, and are handpicking great people for London’s time-starved daters.”

While Once is available in France and the UK on both iOS and Android devices, there is no news yet on the app’s roll-out in other countries. Perhaps this adds to its mystique, to keep daters guessing. Dating Sites Reviews will keep you updated as we learn more.

Are You Ready to Quit your Dating Apps?

  • Friday, November 06 2015 @ 06:55 am
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There’s no doubt about it: online dating has become even more popular, and at the same time, more frustrating than ever. Believe it or not, there is a correlation between the two.

Dating apps work very similarly to a game. You swipe left and right, amassing lots of matches to your dating bank account, and feeling great. More people, more possibilities. But in reality – how many of your matches are you actually going out with? How many send you messages, and how many respond to yours? Unfortunately, more often than not, the numbers are low. (Or worse – female daters tend to be the recipients of unwanted and aggressive texts.)

So what do we do with this information? Do we declare this to be "the end of dating" along with The New York Times? Do we delete those apps from our phones, as one writer for website Bustle has declared she will do?

You do have the option to drop out of online dating altogether, but I would argue for keeping it a part of how you meet people to date. Dating apps are here to stay, so it's time to embrace them. But we also need to learn how to date - in real life.

The problem doesn't lie with dating apps per se - technology in general is changing how we behave and interact. People are spending more time updating and commenting on their social media accounts than they are having actual conversations or meeting up with people IRL. Take a look at any bar or restaurant, and inevitably you see a group of people at a table, and none of them are talking to each other – they are staring at their phones.

There is an element of social anxiety that comes along with dating, but our phones are giving us an easy way out, rather than learning to overcome this anxiety. It’s much easier to drop a conversation online than try to think of something witty to say. And the thought of making small talk on a first date for half an hour can terrify many young daters who have grown accustomed to safely hiding behind their phones.

Instead of complaining about the technology, it’s time to do something about what we would like to see in the dating world. Ask someone out on a real date. Pick up the phone and have a conversation, don’t just text until one of you drops off. And if you don’t get a response? On to the next.

Most people want to find a connection to someone else. Online dating provides a way to meet people, not a way to actually date them. Instead, the search for connection is totally left up to us – a scary thought. (Why can’t we just blame the dating apps for peoples’ behavior?)

If you want your online dating experience to change, you first need to change your own approach to it. Don’t endlessly swipe. Talk to more people over the phone or in person. Look them in the eye when you are having a conversation. Don’t become distracted by your phone, or lean on it like a crutch when you get bored. Learn the art of making conversation, of flirting. Practice it!

There’s no shame in asking someone out, and to follow through and go on a real date. In fact, it’s the only thing that will lead to a real-life relationship.

Which Dating Service Rules On Social Media?

  • Saturday, October 24 2015 @ 12:17 pm
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Practically every business is expected to have a social media presence in 2015. When your business is a digital one, that pressure doubles. When your target audience is millennials, it triples. Dating services are all about helping people make social connections, but how socially savvy are they on their own profiles?

Digiday used proprietary data from two social media analytics firms, Unmetric and Socialbakers, to pit seven dating apps against each other in the battle for most effective social media strategy. Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge,, Zoosk, Coffee Meets Bagel and Bumble were put to the test in several different categories.

Number Of Fans

With over 13 million million Facebook likes, Zoosk has the largest social media fan base. Match and Tinder follow with over 827,000 and 369,000 fans, respectively. Twitter shows similar stats. Zoosk has the most followers by far at over 350,000. Match comes in second, with 65,000, and Tinder in third, with over 56,000.

Although Tinder currently has the smallest fan base, it's also the most rapidly growing. The game-changing dating app saw its fan base grow 228 percent between January and October 2015.

Geographical Popularity

Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, Match and Zoosk all have an international crop of users, but Tinder and Zoosk are the most diverse on social. In fact, the majority of Zoosk's Facebook fans are international.

Other services proved to be particularly popular in specific countries. Hinge is big in India, while Match is favored by Canadians and Tinder has won over Brazilian singles.

Engagement Level

Zoosk is the most prolific poster on social media. The company published 226 posts between January and October, and received the most likes and comments. Despite Zoosk's high volume, Tinder took the top spot for highest average engagement and most posts shared by fans.

Bumble is a relative newcomer to the dating world, but already it's showing promise on social. The app saw over 3,000 interactions with fans on Facebook between July and October. The numbers are expected to grow.

Number Of Fan Posts And Mentions's users are the most likely to talk about it on Facebook. More than 9,000 messages were posted to Match's wall between January and October. Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel come next. Neither Tinder nor OkCupid had user posts on their Facebook walls. Their page settings most likely do not allow it.

Tinder leads the number of mentions on Twitter, perhaps because Twitter's audience skews younger than Facebook and Tinder attracts a similarly youthful user base. The app is followed by Zoosk and, which come in second and third with around 8,000 and 2,000 mentions apiece.

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