Technology

Happn Testing Subscriptions, Artificial Intelligence, And A Redesign

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Happn

As we close out the first quarter of 2017, Happn has big plans to drive growth during the remainder of the year.

CEO Didier Rappaport told Business Insider that the company is working on a “new business model” that adds subscriptions to the service. Though the subscription model is still being tested, the tentative plan is to remove the ads (which currently fund the company) for users with paid accounts.

Since launching three years ago, Happn has built a user base of 25 million people. However, the company has yet to become profitable, and that’s its chief goal for 2017.

Consumer Reports Analyzes Online Dating in a New Study

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Study by Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports has decided to get into the love game. The non-profit organization has been around since 1936, and typically reviews consumer satisfaction with products and services, but now it wants to know about dating apps, and how satisfied customers appear to be.

We all know where this is going. Well, maybe not.

Consumer Reports found two interesting and diametrically opposed results. First, consumers hate online dating with a passion, even more than tech support services, which are notoriously poor performers. Those surveyed didn’t rate any service as more than average as far as overall satisfaction. OkCupid got the best ratings of all online dating services, including Tinder, but it got a reader score of only 56. (Tinder was second with a 52 rating.) Reader scores were evaluated by a number of factors, including messaging and search features, privacy settings, the ease of use and sign-up process, as well as quality and quantity of matches.

Tinder CEO says Augmented Reality Dating Apps are the Future

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Example of an Augmented Reality Dating App

If anyone can make bold predictions about the future of online dating, it’s industry game-changer and Tinder CEO Sean Rad. This month at the StartUp Grind Global Conference in California, he shared that dating apps could soon be using augmented reality technology to help users meet.

He explained that the technology would help people meet in real time, and work similarly to Pokemon Go. For instance, if you walk down the street and point your smartphone at someone you find attractive, you can find out immediately whether or not they are single. And if you are single and dating, you could also send virtual signals to someone you pass, letting them know you’re interested. This could work through technology like Google Glass as well as your phone.

New Dating App Hotline Requires a Phone Call Instead of a Swipe

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Hotline Dating App

It seems many dating apps now want to distance themselves from Tinder, even though the tremendous growth of online dating was thanks to Tinder’s swiping technology. Now, instead of endless swiping that goes nowhere, a common complaint among Tinder users, a new app is offering something more intimate: requiring a phone call to connect with a match.

Dating app Hotline launched in New York last month, and is already getting some buzz thanks to its old-school premise: talking on the phone. The app doesn’t let you text until you’ve made at least one phone call and talked to your match first.

Tinder for Apple TV: Online Dating’s Next Incarnation

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Tinder on Apple TV

Binging on Netflix has become a social occasion, with friends gathering together to watch their favorite shows and movies in the comfort of home. Now, Tinder has proposed that online dating can be a social occasion, too - and like Netflix, experienced via your TV.

This past December (notably in time for the holidays), the company launched Tinder for Apple TV, which allows you to search for dates on the big screen, presumably with your friends gathered round to comment. The tvOSapp for Apple TV allows you to swipe left and right on potential dates on the big screen to make it a group activity. Perhaps while you’re opening presents or eating turkey and pumpkin pie with your family?

It’s the same Tinder as the version that lives on your phone, but available for display so your friends and family don’t have to squint or pass your phone around to give you their opinions.

“With a new, swipeable remote control and the world’s hottest app now in HD, modern dating is taking a page from the age-old book of matchmaking,” reads the Tinder announcement of the new tvOS app. “Let’s face it—the people who know you best have traditionally had a high rate of success when helping you pick a partner.”

New Study Reveals Trend in Photo Retouching Among Online Daters

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Retouching your dating profile photos

Have you ever “touched up” one of your Tinder profile photos? Maybe you wanted to look more vibrant, or erase a double chin or receding hairline. If you have, you’re not alone.

Meitu, a popular photo retouching app, surveyed 250 online daters to find out their photo retouching practices, and to see how honestly people are presenting themselves to potential matches. Not surprisingly, they found a considerable portion of the respondents does retouch - 33% of women had retouched their photos and 20% of men had retouched theirs.

While it’s no secret that people optimize photos (look at all the filters on Instagram), it is interesting that this follows a trend in online dating where people have historically posted misleading images of themselves – either by using old photos from 10 years ago at a time when they were thinner or had more hair, or by Photoshopping  their “flaws,” like skin blemishes.

Along these lines, the survey found that 47 percent of men and 27 percent of women have encountered a first date who looked nothing like their profile image, feeding into the stereotype that many people lie about themselves to seem more attractive.

But what does it mean when someone admits to photo retouching? Is there a difference in perception between online daters who do a few touch-ups to enhance their features, compared to severely altering their images? Turns out, there is a difference.

Most survey respondents who admitted to photo retouching did only slight tweaks, such as blemish removal (44 percent of women and 28 percent of men), teeth whitening (18 percent women, 16 percent men), or lightening and darkening of skin tone (28 percent women, 20% men). For all categories, women seemed to do more tweaking in general than men. But the vast majority of both women and men said that some light retouching is fine with them (71 percent of women and 65 percent of men).

Most survey respondents agreed that more severe retouching, such as reshaping faces and body outlines is not okay. Ninety-eight percent of women and 91 percent of men don’t think it’s fine to retouch an image more than slightly.

In summary, avoid surprises on your first date by keeping photo edits simple and natural. Getting rid of that random pimple, adding a little color to your pre-summer skin, or brightening your smile is all good. But avoid anything that’s going to make you look like a different you!

Meitu surveyed men and women between the ages of 18-34 who had used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.