Technology

Match Group Buys Rival Dating App Hinge

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Hinge

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.

Match Launches Lara Chatbot Across Google Assistant Network

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Chatbot Lara from Match

Following a successful launch on Facebook Messenger last year, Match is bringing its dating chatbot Lara to Google Assistant.

The AI matchmaker uses contextual understanding and speech recognition to provide advice and guidance for dating in the digital age. Lara first launched in France in 2016, then rolled out to users in the UK in 2017.

Match's vice-president of Northern Europe, Abbie Oguntade, spoke to The Drum earlier this year about the bot’s success and future trajectory. Lara has driven a 30% increase in visitors to Match’s landing page in Europe, she said, and subscriptions have “heavily improved” as a result. A team of around 15 engineers and tech experts are working out of Match’s innovation hub to improve the assistant’s AI features.

Is Video The Next Big Thing In Online Dating?

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Before online dating there was video dating, and as the viral clip below proves, it could be just as awkward and cringe-worthy as any Tinder swipe session.

Take one look at a montage of hapless suitors dressed in their retro best talking about being “an executive by day and a wild man by night” and their career in toxic waste management, and it’s easy to see why video dating fell out of fashion. So out of fashion, in fact, that while video has exploded across almost all major social media platforms, it has yet to make a triumphant return to the dating mainstream.

Startups have tried for decades to update video dating for modern singles with little success, but thanks to new features from some of the industry’s most reputable names, the tide could finally be poised to turn.

Tinder Launching Places, a New Feature to Track Where You’ve Been

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Did you eat at a new neighborhood cafe for lunch? Do you want to share this over Tinder? There’s a new feature the dating app is testing called “Places,” which lets potential matches know where you’ve been.

Website The Verge broke the story with screenshots of the new feature, showing how GPS tracking can now be used as a way to connect with your dates. The idea behind Places is similar to dating app Happn, where users can see if they had any missed connections during the day, depending on where they’d been. Let’s say you stopped for morning coffee at your local shop and one of your potential matches also happened to be there. Places will alert you so that you can message your match to let her know you were there too, and start a conversation.

Manage your Tinder Places Settings
Image: Verge

A concerning issue with the new feature is that Tinder is in charge of documenting and revealing your locations to other users. Instead of allowing users to “check in” when they want to share their location, Tinder automatically chooses to reveal or hide the location. For example, you might go to your dentist appointment and then stop for coffee on the way back to work. Tinder won’t report that you’ve been to the dentist, but it might choose to reveal the coffee shop you visited.

Want to Delete Facebook? Here’s How It Might Impact Your Love Life

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Facebook has come under fire, with many longtime users debating whether or not to delete their accounts, rather than make their personal information vulnerable to third parties. But something you might not have considered, brought to light by a reporter from Mashable, is how deleting Facebook might affect your love life.

Many dating apps rely on Facebook to verify profile information – that is, to make sure you really are a person and not a bot or an advertisement. With this in mind, many apps require that you use your Facebook account to login, including Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and other really popular apps.

Research firm Cambridge Analytica was accused of hijacking data from 50 million Facebook users and using the data to influence the 2016 U.S. election. This information breach was made possible because Facebook relies on third parties for ad revenue, and also partners with research firms like Cambridge Analytica, which leaves its platform open to security problems. Facebook maintains it didn’t know about the information grab, though evidence has come to light via whistleblower Christopher Wylie, who developed the strategy for hijacking and using the data to create targeted political profiles of Americans.

New Dating Apps Turning to Blockchain Technology

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Dating Apps using Block Chain

Blockchain technology has become a buzzword these days, thanks to the soaring popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Now, new dating app companies are incorporating the same blockchain technology into their matching and verification processes to compete with big-name brands like Tinder.

There is a growing need for dating apps to address a persistent problem in online dating: lying and misrepresentation in dating profiles. Most dating apps use social media accounts as a way of verifying profiles, but this hasn’t curbed the proliferation of fake accounts and scammers. Blockchain technology is based in a democratic oversight of users, by users, to improve the overall experience.

Tinder changed the game for online dating, creating a mainstream acceptance of looking for love by swiping over a phone. A large part of the app’s success was gameifying the online dating process – look at a picture, and swipe left or right depending on whether or not you were interested. It was possible to go through dozens of profiles in seconds, making the swiping process more fun than pouring over dating profiles.