Technology

Tinder Hackers Getting Creative in Looking for Matches

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Tinder is no doubt the latest craze of online and mobile dating. Most singles have heard of it, if they aren’t already using it. But despite the fact that Tinder requires you to sign up via your Facebook profile (which keeps out the fake profiles and supposedly keeps people honest about who they are) – hackers are finding ways to game the system for their own benefit.

A recent article by such a hacker appeared in Android Central, where the author Cage Michaels - who is happily in a relationship - enjoys just being on Tinder, flipping through photos and judging each woman's hotness. He has decided to share his strategy with the masses (“FTW” – “for the win” - as he says). To him, Tinder has nothing to do with his relationship and his “real life,” but considers it a game or a way to pass time entertainingly. He says, “I'm in a relationship. I'm happy. I just find it really entertaining to swipe through photos of real people. Some people spend all day looking at photos of cats. Personally, I'd rather look at photos of women. To each their own.”

Of course, in order to look at photos on Tinder you have to be on Tinder. This created a problem for him, because his friends (and her friends) noticed he was on the app and were wondering if he was cheating or had broken up with his girlfriend. According to him, neither was the case. Hence his dilemma – how could he Tinder without all the hassle?

Instead of setting up a fake Facebook profile (which can take some effort), he decided to outsmart Tinder’s GPS capabilities and fake the app into thinking he was visiting another city (where he had no friends or connections). This made his Tinder habit easy to maintain.

He goes step-by-step in the article, guiding people first through downloading a fake GPS app. Once you download, you can pick the city where you want to anonymously browse Tinder profiles. When you hit the “play” button within the fake GPS, you can then enable a fake GPS signal. Once you open Tinder, it will pick up the fake GPS location from your phone and use that for its search.

While this is one way of creating a fake profile on Tinder, it certainly isn’t the only way to outsmart the app. There are new apps being launched that take advantage of Tinder’s functionality by allowing people to match en masse without even looking at profiles, just to increase your odds of success.

Between these and the hackers, you might want to question whether your Tinder match is real, or just another person who’s gaming the system. 

New Dating App Siren Puts Women in Control

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For the single women reading, how many lewd messages have you received on OkCupid in the past month? How many guys have stalked you over Tinder? If you answer “too many” for either one, you might be ready for a new kind of dating app called Siren.

Siren is an alternative to the typical dating apps like Tinder, where many men swipe right to have more women in their cue - meaning, they play the numbers. They make the first move, often approaching women in a way that makes them feel pressured, uncomfortable, or just plain creeped out. It’s become a kind of risky game for some women, where they aren’t sure if they will meet someone and feel safe. If they don’t, the whole dating app experience becomes tainted.

Tech-Saavy Users are Manipulating Tinder for more Dates

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Like with online dating, Tinder seems to give females the advantage over males, at least in terms of your chances for getting a date.

Many guys complain that women have it better in the dating world because women can choose who they want to date, while guys are left saying "yes" to every woman's profile they view online or on an app like Tinder, just to improve their chances of meeting someone. (Women tend to be more picky, and say "no" to most men, probably because so many men just swipe right to everyone.) While online dating does seem skewed, apparently some tech geniuses have decided to make the odds work in the guys' favor.

Instead of manually going through all the matches Tinder sends his way, one techie decided that he could automate responses. According to website ValleyWag, former Microsoft developer Yuri de Souza details "how he reverse engineered Tinder to mass-like every girl on the network." He was sitting around one Sunday afternoon mindlessly swiping right on all of his female matches, hoping that one would swipe right back, when the idea struck him.

" [I] recalled my friend telling me how he would spend hours swiping right on Tinder just to accumulate as may matches as possible," de Souza told ValleyWag. "This had me thinking, why can't I reverse engineer Tinder and automate the swipes? After all, I'm pretty darn good at taking things apart!"

He was successful, and went to share his idea with other guys, only to find he wasn't the only one or even the first to try to game the system.

While it seems counter-intuitive to accept matches that you don't even see in the hopes of having more choice in who you want to date, this is the thinking behind guys looking to game the dating app system. (An article in New York Magazine last year naming the most successful online daters included a guy who admitted to saying "yes" to all women on Tinder to improve his chances, so this might have inspired a lot of guys to follow his lead.)

Other tech-savvy users have created shortcuts and automation to help them (and other guys) avoid the challenging task of looking through so many women's profiles. It turns out, people aren't even willing to spend the time to look at photos anymore, let alone read words in a profile.

What does this mean for dating? While it's understandable that guys are frustrated with their lack of choice (and womens' general avoidance of swiping right unless a man really intrigues her), is reverse-engineering the best way to meet a woman? Maybe apps like Tinder, fun and game-like as they are, are not the best avenue for many people. Instead of casting a large net and hoping to catch someone - anyone - why not try to focus on what you want? If you're putting it out there that you can't seem to meet a woman, then likely creating an automated way to say yes to everyone on Tinder isn't going to improve your game.

Maybe it's time to try another site or app that is more conducive to your search. Better yet, try something more old-fashioned. How about you approach a woman in person and ask her out? That will make you stand out from the Tinder crowd.

For more on this dating app please read our Tinder review.

Zoosk Introduces New Date Feedback Feature

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Oh boy. Just when you thought online dating couldn’t get any more stressful, you now have to worry about what feedback your date is sharing with the site that connected you.

Zoosk recently announced the launch of Date Feedback, a new feature that will allow members to provide commentary on their online dating experience. When Zoosk’s system recognizes that two users have exchanged a significant number of messages, Date Feedback will ask each to offer their opinions on how the conversation progressed and the likelihood of an off-line meetup. Zoosk hopes the new feature will provide valuable insight into the matchmaking process.

“At Zoosk, we are constantly improving our technology to help our members discover fulfilling relationships, and Date Feedback will be one of the first ways we’re able to add offline dates to the list of signals our algorithm can take into account for matchmaking,” said Shayan Zadeh, Co-Founder and CEO of Zoosk. “With the launch of Date Feedback and the important data points it adds, our platform will have the ability to become that much more adept at understanding how a member’s online dating experience transitions into an in-person meeting, and hopefully, a relationship.”

The goal is to offer each member a more personalized experience. By gathering data on what conditions are most likely to lead to in-person dates (and, afterwards, relationships), Zoosk is hoping to improve its Behavioral Matchmaking engine. The matching system will be better able to predict which introductions will lead to successful offline connections, making the website a more powerful tool than ever before.

It’s no surprise to see Zoosk taking a more technological approach to dating. The company has always espoused a tech-based methodology for matching, rather than a strategy based on self-reported questionnaires. The Behavioral Matchmaking engine works by tracking a user’s actions on the site – like where the user clicks and what messages s/he sends and responds to – in order to deliver better matches. Rather than using a one-size-fits all, static approach to dating (like a quiz or fixed profile), Zoosk constantly updates to accommodate your preferences and adapts its dating experience to your actions.

Now is a particularly good time for Zoosk to bring out the heavy artillery. Though it has yet to turn a profit, revenue continues to grow and the company filed documentation to become a public company in April. Zoosk plans to raise $100 million in its initial public offering later this year.

For more information on this dating site you can read our review of Zoosk.

eHarmony Moves from Love to Career Matching

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eHarmony is well-known in the online dating space. It has been around over fourteen years and has grown to be one of the biggest competitors due to its emphasis on finding people serious relationships. Now, it wants to get serious about your job search, too.

The company’s strategy and technology is all about compatibility matching. Subscribers to the dating site are put through a rather lengthy sign-up process to ensure that the technology behind the site really captures the essence of what each person wants, along with his or her relationship tendencies. (One of the best things about the sign-up process is that eHarmony provides a snapshot booklet of who you are as a dater: the kind of personality you have, they type of person you gravitate towards, and the positive and negative ways that your dates may interpret your behavior. It’s incredibly insightful, and helped make me a more observant dater.)

Now, eHarmony is taking this compatibility matching technology and applying it to your job search. The new site called Elevated Careers by eHarmony is set to launch in December.

According to MarketWatch, few details were revealed about how the career-matching algorithm will work. But eHarmony CEO Neil Clark Warren said some of the likely qualities that will be analyzed include “conscientiousness, honesty and conflict resolution,” among others.

When asked why Dr. Warren thought eHarmony should move into the career space, since it seems so far removed from romance and peoples’ personal lives, he countered that love and work are more connected than we think. “If people come home and they’re unhappy with their job and boss, it puts a lot of tension on a marriage,” he told MarketWatch.

While eHarmony boasts that is has made 600,000 marriages, they have also gained a divorce rate of 3.9%, slightly higher than the national average of 3.6%.

It is an interesting idea at a time when job dissatisfaction is high. Roughly 70% of Americans described themselves as “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” from their workplaces according to a recent Gallup report. And according to an article in Entrepreneur.com, the average worker hops jobs every 4.6 years. That doesn’t lead to a loyal workforce or employee satisfaction when nobody is willing to commit. Perhaps it is time for a change, and for both employers and employees to look at compatibility, rather than waste resources training people who remain actively looking for another job.

I don’t think job satisfaction is completely reliant on company culture and employer-employee compatibility, though it is certainly a factor. Many people find themselves in careers that aren’t what they expected and want a fresh start. Perhaps there is a way eHarmony will use its technology to also advise what career might be best for each of us. Until then, we’ll see what Elevated Careers has to offer.

Match Aims to Control Online Dating Space with new Android Wearables

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If you’re one of the largest and most successful online dating sites around, what would be your next move in the ever-changing dating market? Would you focus on growing your membership, improving your technology, or ramping up your marketing efforts?

Online dating giant Match.com has decided to focus on building its app business – since that’s where most online daters go now (instead of their laptops).

But Match.com has taken things a step further, trying to get ahead of the technology curve. They’ve announced that this month they will be launching one of the first dating apps for Android Wearables, so you can effectively “wear your heart on your wrist.”

Android Wearables are small, powerful devices worn on the body – kind of like a mobile phone worn as a wristwatch. More stylish and less intrusive than Google Glass (there’s no clandestine recording of someone as you’re watching them), Android Wearables make access to your mobile information a bit easier. For instance, you can respond to texts, instant messages and emails by voice. You can also ask for directions with its handy GPS feature, or reach fitness goals if you’re a runner or biker. It connects to your phone, so you can access the same basic information that’s on your mobile device, but it’s hands-free.

The Match app for Android Wearables will cater to busy and active singles who are already purchasing this new technology. The app offers basic features that you’d find with any online dating app, but it’s driven by voice commands, which makes it easier than typing when you’re out and about. Notifications for winks and messages from other members are sent straight to your Android wearable. With pulse notifications, you’ll know exactly when someone has reached out to you. To reply, simply swipe to read an incoming message and respond directly with the app’s voice command feature. (Make sure you are in a private place unless you want the general public to know about your dating life.)

You also receive your daily matches so you can choose who to respond to, rating with a “yes” or “no” a la Tinder. You can also find singles nearby with the handy GPS feature.

I’m not sure why it’s important to check your dating app when you’re on a bike ride or jog, but it seems that would be the point of using Android Wearables instead of just picking up your phone and silently texting your matches when you’re able. But maybe that’s just me.

The app will be available for Android Wearable users this month. For more on this service please read our Match.com review.