Showing posts with label Dating Apps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dating Apps. Show all posts

November 14, 2018

Chappy A Dating Application Now in Partnership With GLAAD Wants to Make Looking For Date As Easy as Flipping Your Finger


                               






Chappy, the dating app for gay men, has today announced a partnership with GLAAD. As part of the partnership, Chappy will make a donation to GLAAD for each conversation initiated on the dating app, from now throughout 2019.
The company won’t disclose the amount of the donation, but said that it hopes to raise “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Chappy  launched in 2017 to give gay men an authentic, discrimination-free way to connect with one another. The app uses a sliding scale to let users indicate what they’re looking for in a relationship, ranging from “Cute” to “Sexy.” The app has more than 650,000 registered users, and has seen more than 1 billion swipes.
Chappy is backed by Bumble  and controlled by Bumble shareholders, falling under the Badoo umbrella of dating apps. Last month, Bumble named Chappy its official dating app for gay men. As part of that relationship, Bumble and Chappy will be cross-promoting each other’s apps.
Adam Cohen-Aslatei, managing director at Chappy, says the donations to GLAAD will be unrestricted, and can be used by GLAAD however they see fit. Cohen-Aslatei also hopes to contribute to GLAAD’s research projects, and said that he sees the opportunity for the Chappy community to provide data-based insights to that research.
Cohen-Aslatei joins the Chappy team from Jun Group, where he was vice president of marketing. He was appointed to the position last month.
“There are a lot of dating apps out there and a lot of gimmicks out there,” said Cohen-Aslatei. “We’re trying to improve the way the gay community meets each other and thinks about relationships, but also the way they think about their commitment to the community. We’re a relationship and advocacy app, and we want to partner with the right organizations to drive awareness to what we are.”

June 26, 2018

In India Gay Dating Apps Are Seen As Great Help But AreThey Seen As A Target?




                                                    Image result for thief with rainbow mask


Growing up, Divya Roop already knew he was attracted to his own gender but he didn’t want to come out until he became independent. Then, his sister found his alternate Facebook profile and outed him to his family. His father suggested yoga as a cure for homosexuality while his mother rued, “I gave birth to a son, not a hijra (a south Asian pejorative for transgenders).”
Eventually, Roop moved out to keep his family “away from those difficult questions they didn’t want to face before the society,” he told Quartz. The 25-year-old customer-care advisor, who identifies as an androgynous homosexual, now wears a face full of make-up and dons high heels, is a vocal LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer) activist, and part of India’s first gay choir group, Rainbow Voices.
But the struggle is still far from over. For a society that makes the LGBTQ community feel like criminals with its rigid cultural norms and archaic laws, searching for a same-sex partner can be a nightmare. “People are expected to be straight in front of the society, which means you will not find an out and proud person from the community so easily,” Roop said. Meeting someone through friends or at a restaurant is often out of the question.
So, for India’s scatted LGBTQ community, the best bet to find like-minded people is the internet. Dating apps cast a wide net and help find exactly the kind of people you want to be with.
But then, there’s an ugly side to that, too. For instance, anonymity often allows imposters to con genuine users. Besides, identities are often outed unwittingly, which can have catastrophic consequences for those who prefer discretion.

Finding love online

With internet and smartphone penetration on the rise in India, the LGBTQ community is increasingly taking to online dating sites to mingle. Already, around 1.4% or 69,000 of the five million users of US gay dating app Grindr and nearly 3% or 92,000 users of German app Planet Romeo’s three million users are in India. 
But setting up your dating profile can often be like placing a target on your own back.
“With life becoming easier, it has become riskier as well,” Roop said. “There are so many times that people use someone else’s pictures as their own to attract guys and then they call these guys over and blackmail them for money.”
In July 2015, a gay maritime engineer was reportedly lured into a trapthrough an online dating service. He was attacked and extorted by two men while he was in a hotel room in Mumbai with a man he had met on a dating app. The attackers stole his possessions and emptied his bank account, and threatened to press criminal charges for having sex with a man if he went to the police.
This “catfishing” phenomenon is becoming more prevalent, according to Sonal Giani, advocacy manager at India’s oldest LGBTQ organisation, The Humsafar Trust. Online predators “often beat and sexually abuse the victims…but the victims are so scared that they generally don’t tell anyone,” Gaini added.
In addition, identities are not fully secure online. For example, in 2011, news channel TV9 ran a PlanetRomeo “exposé” of people in Hyderabad, publicly identifying profiles of gay men.
However, app-makers say they have put checks and balances such as verifying user identities and limiting app permissions online. Grindr, for instance, now has discreet icons that let users camouflage the app on their phones. But since homosexuality largely remains a taboo in India, it can still be hard to convince someone you meet online to take the next logical step offline. Some new apps are now finding a fix for just that.

Real relationships

Twenty-seven-year-old Ishaan Sethi launched an app called Delta this April. The platform brings together like-minded individuals who can establish any relationship—friends, romantic partners, mentor-mentee—with its “Connect” feature.
Sethi’s idea of building something less flippant than existing dating apps stemmed from conversations with Sachin Bhatia, CEO of dating app TrulyMadly. Sethi’s app not only verifies user identities but also connects people based on compatibility and assigns “trust scores” to users to up their credibility.
“Draconian laws and cultural barriers…have an adverse effect on an individual’s life, sense of dignity and ability to function across multiple arenas—meeting people, dating, finding support, access to jobs, even housing,” co-founder and CEO Sethi, who himself is gay, told Quartz.
In a country with over 2.5 million LGBTQ people, where tens of thousands of them have already created dating profiles, the potential market reach of these apps is substantial. Some organisations are even leverage them to disperse important messages about safe sex and HIV-prevention.
But Roop, a Grindr and Plannet Romeo user, isn’t totally convinced yet.
“…they may have been good for finding someone for a date but they have ended up becoming more of a hookup space,” Roop said. “It’s not a group of people there for each other as a community, but any random horny person trying to have physical intimacy for just a night or two.”

September 26, 2017

New UK Study Finds Dating Apps Contributing to Low Levels of Self Esteem








Gay Times asks if its time to sign out of dating apps? 

A new study has found that men who regularly use dating apps have reported lower levels of self-esteem than those who don’t use them that often or at all.

Researchers at the University of North Texas created a study based o the objectification theory that examined the main effects of Tinder use. 
 
The Tinder users included 31 men, while the non-users totalled 203 men for the anonymous online survey.

It found that men and women experienced similar levels of psychological distress, and that men demonstrated higher levels of shame about their bodies.

“For self-esteem, male Tinder users scored significantly lower than either male or female non-users,” the study reported.

“Our results suggest that Tinder represents a contemporary medium for appearance pressures and its use is associated with a variety of negative perceptions about body and self and with increases in individuals’ likelihood to internalise appearance ideals and make comparisons to others.”

The report also concluded that “Tinder users were more focused on their bodies as sexual objects.” 

Highlights

Tinder users reported lower levels of satisfaction with their faces and bodies.
Male and female users experienced similar levels of psychological distress.
Tinder users experience higher levels of shame about their bodies.
Tinder users were more focused on their bodies as sexual objects.
Men, actively involved with Tinder, reported lower levels of self-esteem.

Abstract

Based on objectification theory, we examined the main effects of Tinder use, and its interaction with gender, in relation to men’s and women’s body image concerns, internalization processes, and self-esteem. Tinder users (men = 31; women = 69) and non-users (men = 203; women = 844) anonymously completed measures via an online survey. Through a series of ANCOVAs, with BMI and age as covariates, Tinder users, regardless of gender, reported significantly lower levels of satisfaction with face and body and higher levels of internalization, appearance comparisons, and body shame and surveillance than non-users. For self-esteem, male Tinder users scored significantly lower than either male or female non-users. Our results suggest that Tinder represents a contemporary medium for appearance pressures and its use is associated with a variety of negative perceptions about body and self and with increases in individuals’ likelihood to internalize appearance ideals and make comparisons to others.

June 22, 2017

No Puppy Love Here (New Data on Dating Sites)



Could love bloom between users of eHarmony, Match.com, and Zoosk?

New data from YouGov reveals the compatibility of singles looking for romance on different online dating sites

There's nothing puppy love about the online dating industry. It brings in billions annually, and, according to one report, the number of 18- to 24-year-olds using various dating platforms has nearly tripled between 2013 and 2015.
Recent YouGov data shows that the majority of people visiting the dating sites Zoosk, Match.com, and eHarmony are male. Most fall between the ages of 18-49, too. But that's not to say all online dating sites attract the same types of people — because they don't.
Consider people who admit to flirting on social media (11% of US adults do). When looking at current and former customers of Zoosk, Match.com, and eHarmony, however, nearly a quarter of Zoosk customers confess to this behavior, compared to 15% of people looking for love on Match.com and 12% of those using eHarmony.
The differences don't stop. When asked if they like experimenting with recipes, being friendly with the neighbors, and spending their leisure time relaxing — in other words, typical relationship stuff that can either make or break a couple — a variety of responses came back.
Current and former Zoosk customers appear the most adventurous in the kitchen, followed by eHarmony users. At 71%, consumers on Match.com were not only the least likely online dating customer base to say they enjoy experimenting with new recipes, but were two points lower than the general public, too.
At the same time, Match.com customers were most likely to report saying hello to their neighbors and knowing who they were, while eHarmony customers showed the strongest desire to spend their leisure time relaxing.
What do current and former customers of all three online dating sites have in common?
They're all more likely than the general public to find controversial or taboo subjects funny, and need time alone to recharge after being in a group setting. They're also more likely to show interest in starting their own business.
Most importantly, perhaps, users of Zoosk, Match.com, and eHarmony all report higher rates of self-identifying as hopeless romantics.

September 1, 2015

Monogamy Electronic Dating is Having its Moment



                                                                     

There are lots of ways to cheat online, and maybe the idea of inadvertently hooking up with a smug married on Tinder repulses you. Perhaps you’d be happier on a site that promised you’d meet only fellow commitmentphiles, or at least one that lets you know if that dashing fellow or dimpled blonde is “in a relationship” on Facebook. If you’re already coupled up, maybe you’d be interested in an app that beams your movements and texts straight to your better half’s phone (and vice versa, of course). Turns out you have all these options, and more.

Monogamy may just be having a moment, particularly after the hack of the notorious “Life is short, have an affair” site Ashley Madison, which exposed the names, emails and sexual proclivities of some 30 million members. And why not? Regular dating services have already gained a reputation as cheater minefields. Researchers at GlobalWebIndex just reported that 45 percent of Tinder users worldwide are married or in a relationship, seemingly confirming the long-held suspicions of many users. (Tinder calls that study “totally inaccurate” and says “simple logic” makes its claims impossible, although it didn’t offer data of its own.) Many dating sites, in fact, offer tips about spotting cheaters and forums for discussing them, although most are limited in what they can do about stepper-outers — even if a two-timer gets booted, it’s ridiculously easy to reregister under a new handle and email address.

They cater to the tired, the poor at heart, the huddled masses yearning not to find unexpected sexts on their partner’s phone.
If the Ashley Madison hack “doesn’t fundamentally change the way the serious side of the dating industry conducts business,” says David Evans, a dating service consultant, “then all is for naught.” And there’s a lot of business being conducted — $2.4 billion in 2015, up from $1.6 billion in 2006, according to the market-research firm IBISWorld. It doesn’t take too much poking around to find a surprising number of sites and services catering to the tired, the poor at heart, the huddled masses yearning not to find unexpected sexts on their partner’s phone. Fidelity-first sites claim to offer a safe alternative, especially for folks who found that their partners were seeing other people without letting them know about it. Monogamy sites are a haven for such people; “they’ll reach out for it,” says Danine Manette, author of Ultimate Betrayal, a guide to detecting and surviving infidelity.

There’s certainly an irony here, as a medium infamous for harboring cheaters now also shows an evolving potential to foster more “old-fashioned” relationships. It’s further evidence, in case you needed it, that the digital nature of human relationships continues to shift on what feels like a daily basis. New dating tools could also have bigger real-world ramifications than you’d think. Marital infidelity, some experts say, inflicts serious emotional trauma on the betrayed spouse — in some cases, pain and grief so intense it’s surpassed only by the death of a child, often lingering as a sort of PTSD of the heart.

Fidelity Dating co-founder Gary Spivak is out to prevent that. He was cheated on years ago, after which he dropped serious weight, couldn’t sleep and developed muscle aches so intense they required medication. His seven-month-old service, which claims fewer than 5,000 members, aims to ward off the waywards by asking members to take a fidelity pledge. If you’re looking for an affair, “why would you come to a site for people looking for faithful partners?” Spivak asks.

Invite-only apps like the Dating Lounge, created by a professional matchmaker, also claim they can screen out cheaters (and police them if they slip through). More mainstream apps like Hinge, which connects would-be couples through mutual friends, now explicitly expose people dumb enough to join a dating service while professing to be committed on Facebook. But users can also do some background checking themselves. Women, for instance, can turn to Lulu, an app for dishing about men — their looks, sense of humor and, most important for our purposes, their sense of commitment. Less than a week after the Ashley Madison hack, Lulu saw a 16 percent spike in usage, according to Deborah Singer, Lulu’s vice president of marketing.

And if you’ve already found your lobster and just want to make sure they stay yours, there’s always the option of voluntarily enforcing your monogamy. Some couples already share email and Facebook passwords as a sign of trust, a means of verification or both; soon, there may also be an app for that. It’s still apparently in the concept phase, but a would-be app called Monogamy aims to actually bind your smartphones together, according to its website. (The startup behind it once tweeted that “monogamy is a relationship between” two devices.) That could include beaming your current location and where you’ve been to your partner, as well as informing them if you uninstall the app. No one at Monogamy replied to our request for comment.

Of course, a lot of monogamy marketing may amount to little more than lip service. Many such services use eminently gameable systems — it’s always possible to lie on Fidelity Dating’s pledge or delete your relationship status on Facebook, so branding for commitment doesn’t guarantee a cheater-free zone. Plus, there’s what you might call the empty-of-fish problem: It’s not at all clear how many people will specifically go looking for partners who won’t cheat on them. Apps like Tinder attract everyone, from those looking for their next spouse to those looking for the next hookup. “People often flock to those sites even if they don’t represent what they want, because the pool is so big,” says Logan Levkoff, a relationship expert and author.

But there’s one consolation: Sites like Fidelity Dating will be hacker-proof in a way, Manette suggests. After all, who would care if its members’ information leaked? That wouldn’t be a scandal — the monogamous crowd is “the silenced majority” already, she says.

LIBBY COLEMAN

December 22, 2014

Social Media Apps Killing Cruising Bars in NZ


LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ

SHUT DOWN: Paul Heard has closed his bar, Urge, calling it a "tough" move.


SHUT DOWN: Paul Heard has closed his bar, Urge, calling it a “tough” move.  

Social media apps are killing the gay bar scene, claiming as their latest victim New Zealand's longest-running gay venue.
Urge in Auckland is the ninth gay bar to shut down in New Zealand over the past two years because of dwindling patronage, echoing the closures of international gay hotspots in New York, San Francisco and Sydney.
Sociologist Michael Stevens blames the internet, as apps such as Grindr, and social change, render such venues redundant.
"In the past you had to go to a venue to meet other LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] people, today you don't."
Now people can just grab a phone, swipe left or right according to preference - at work, in bed or in a meeting.
Social change, particularly the legalising of gay marriage, has also played a role.
"Gay bars were a safe place to see a friendly face and not be judged," said Shane Way, event manager and performer for Hamilton's gay bar Shine, which shut down in March.
"These day it's become more accepted in society so gay people don't just go to gay bars."
But this doesn't translate to equality, said Stevens: "It's still not true to say that a gay couple can walk into any venue, hold hands, kiss and dance together in the same way straight couples can."
Urge co-owner Paul Heard announced the bar’s closure this month after 17 years, describing it as the "toughest day I've had". 
He bought the bar with former romantic partner and current business partner, Alan Granville, nearly 10 years ago.
"We actually met at Urge and bought it when the owner was in bad health so we could save it."
Stevens said many LGBT venues, like Urge, were set up in cheap fringe areas of the city 10 or 20 years ago but that real estate is now more desirable. In 10 years, rent and rates have skyrocketed from $66,000 a year to nearly $200,000.
And cheaper alcohol at supermarkets encourages punters to "pre-load" before hitting town.
"They are businesses and need to turn a profit but they have also operated as community centres and meeting points."
Heard has watched the impact of the internet on the gay community. "People's ability to communicate on a one-to-one basis has changed. I get guys in the bar sitting on their phone chatting to somebody on the other side - the app says they're zero metres away.
"Winter is our worst time for customers. Years ago it didn't seem to bother them but now they can stay at home and find someone who will come to their door, literally."
He's worried about the loss of a community, saying men still don't come through the front door because of the fear of stigma.
"There's a reason Urge is so hard to find - we don't have rainbow flags flying out the window. Anybody can feel safe here, especially younger guys who are coming to terms with the whole thing. People might go more underground again."
We're yet to see the full impact of hook-up apps, said social media researcher Richard Pamatatau.
"With internet dating, people looked at that as a thing for people who were desperate losers but now there's no shame in doing it.
"There will always be that moment where someone spies the beautiful girl across the bar and that chemistry happens, there's just more choices now - you can say if you like beards or sporty people."
So will Tinder (the "straight" hook-up app) do to straight bars what Grindr has done in the gay community? "The challenge is for hospitality to find ways to challenge this new technology, I don't know how, though."
 - Stuff

December 3, 2014

Chinese New gay dating app up to 15 Million


                                                                             



By day, Ma Baoli was a high-ranking officer in a seaside city police force. By night, he ran a website for gay people to share experiences and on which he spoke under a pseudonym about the pressure he faced as a homosexual.
After several years, the police force found out and told him he could not run a private website that was earning money from advertisements while serving as a police officer.
Ma chose his website, a move that later proved fruitful. His Danlan.org has spawned a Chinese-language dating app for men called Blued that has garnered 15 million users, 3 million of them outside China, over two years.
And last month, his company, Blue City, received $30 million in funding from Silicon Valley venture capital company DCM Ventures. Ma hopes to use the money to expand abroad and possibly prepare for an IPO. He is also considering launching a dating app for lesbians.
In a country where the government considers any activism dangerous and where homosexuality has traditionally been taboo, Ma has managed to build his business partly by reaching out to government agencies and showing them he can provide a public service in spreading safe-sex messages.
In 2012, he was invited to meet with now-Premier Li Keqiang because of his AIDS prevention work.
Wu Zunyou, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention's AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases center, praised the app for its usefulness in conveying information to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community.
"It's very hard to receive so many registered users in such a short time," Wu told The Associated Press last week at an AIDS awareness event held by Blue City and also attended by local government officials. "None of our public awareness websites can receive such attention. This is a very important channel to be able to spread information about AIDS prevention among the LGBT community."
The app allows users to look for people by location or the last time they logged on. It also enables group settings so people can organize activities such as hiking or assembling a basketball team, as well as providing information from health authorities on locations for HIV testing and treatment.
Andrea Pastorelli, a policy specialist at the United Nations Development Programme, said the Chinese CDC had recognized the app's usefulness in reaching people they were unable to.
"They are having a real issue reaching out to the most marginalized people and in China that's where the epidemic is," he said.
"The fact that they have been able to attract this much money shows that there is interest in the so-called pink market," Pastorelli added. "Private companies are realizing that gay people exist and gay people represent a huge market."
An investment manager at the Beijing office of DCM Ventures who asked not to be named because she was not authorized to speak to the media confirmed that the company had invested $30 million in Blue City, saying its future outlook was promising.
"Five percent of the total population are LGBT people," she said. "Social attitudes toward gay people will become more and more tolerant in the future."
For Ma, 37, who goes by the online pseudonym Geng Le, the investment signals a shift in attitudes already among Chinese toward homosexuals.
Five years ago, his website Danlan.org would be regularly shut down. Today, that doesn't happen anymore, and it carries discussions on whether to legalize same-sex marriage, for example.
"I now feel more and more comfortable saying, 'Yes, I'm gay and yes, what I do is run a gay-themed website,'" he said.
Still, the app does provide privacy for people who are worried about others finding out about their sexual orientation by allowing them to use their smartphone to meet someone, he said.
A law against "hooliganism" that had been used to target gays was eliminated in 1997 and homosexuality was declassified as a mental disorder in 2001, but some clinics still promise to "cure" people by offering conversion therapy that includes electric shocks. China does not recognize same-sex partnerships and no laws outlaw discrimination against homosexuals.
However, more organizations are being created in China that are specifically devoted to LGBT advocacy issues, and gay bars that once could only be found in bigger cities like Beijing and Shanghai are increasingly opening up in smaller cities.
Ma quit his job as deputy director of a division of the Qinhuangdao police force in March 2012. He still misses being a police officer, his dream job since childhood. He says some former colleagues cannot accept what he is doing because they think homosexuality is "abnormal." Ma says he hopes to change their thinking.
Blue City employs about 40 software engineers, designers, salespeople and advocates.
"I would like to use the power of the economy to promote the LGBT community," he said. "In many ways, the economy can trigger changes in policies. So if, for example, I do this thing very well, if my users go from 15 million to many more in the future, if we can go public, I can tell the government: See, we can go public being a ‘gay company' and we haven't caused you any trouble."
BEIJING — 

November 8, 2014

ALIBABA!!! China’s New GAY Dating App Momo is Taking Over US Wall St.

 citifmonline.com 
                                                                         
                                                                            
Momo Inc., the holding company for Beijing Momo Technology Co., said in a filing Friday that it intends to use proceeds for general corporate purposes like research and development and technology infrastructure.
The company may pursue acquisitions but currently has no commitments or agreements for any deals.
After Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. filed for a U.S. IPO, bankers expected other Chinese companies to follow. Alibaba went public in a record $25 billion debut on the New York Stock Exchange in September. Alibaba owns a 21% stake in Momo.
The Wall Street Journal reported in May that Momo was working on a plan for an IPO this year, and that the company had completed a fundraising round that valued it at around $2 billion.
Underwriters include Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and China Renaissance Securities. The company said it plans to sell up to $300 million of American depositary shares, but that is a placeholder amount used in deciding registration fees and will likely change. 
Momo has grown rapidly since its 2011 launch. It began as an online dating application, but it has pushed to become a platform to help people with shared interests connect in locales across China. 
Monthly active users reached 60.2 million in September, more than doubling from a year earlier.
The company said membership subscription fees provided more than 63% of its revenue in the first half of 2014.
Total revenue in the first half of the year was $13.9 million, up from $3.1 million in the comparable 2013 period. Net loss was $8.3 million, compared with a $9.3 million loss in the first half of 2013.  
—Telis Demos contributed to this article.

Previous on Nov 5:
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February 22, 2014

Match.com Scammers Busted

Match.com Scammers Busted for Fleecing DatesSEXPAND
Six British ne’er-do-wells have been charged with scamming Match.com users in the U.K., because people are much more gullible than we could ever imagine.

Here’s how the set-up probably went down: woman logs onto Match.com and, surprise, she meets a handsome man on the dating site. Brilliant! They go out and it's awesome times at the pub and then the cinema that night. They go out a couple more times and he still rocks. Then suddenly he shares a heartbreaking story that requires her to part with a “significant” amount of money. Instead of saying no, she says yes and probably never sees said Mr. Handsome again ... until she watches the evening news on the BBC and realizes that her man of the hour was just arrested for fraud.
Detective Constable Darrin Carey, reports the Guardian, says most of the victims are from the "Basingstoke area, across Hampshire and England" and if anyone has any more information that could help catch the rest of the frauds, call him at "101."
The suspects charged with conspiracy to commit fraud are Emmanuel Oko, 29, of Waverley Grove, Southsea, Hampshire; Brooke Boston, 28, of Chelsea Road, Southsea; Monty Emu, 28, of Frencham Road, Southsea; Eberechi Ekpo, 26, of Adair Road, Southsea; Chukwuka Ugwu, 28, of Somers Road, Southsea, and Adewunmi Nusi, 26, of Bomford Close, Hermitage, Berkshire.
I’m not sure how someone would be able to justify lending more than 20 quid to a stranger they’ve just started dating — I don’t even do that in real life. Still, the crew of five men and women are now facing fraud charges following a lengthy investigation by the Detective Constable and are slated to appear in the Basingstoke magistrates court soon. So what was Match.com's response? Treat the web like a sketchy Camden pub and trust no one.
"While the authorities and dating sites work closely together to ensure a safe environment on the internet, we encourage everyone to apply the same caution when meeting people online as they would meeting through friends or in a bar. Never give money to anyone just as you would never give money to someone you recently met in a pub or cafe. Don't share personal contact details off the site. If in doubt, use the highly visible 'report a concern' button which flags issues to our care team."
Is anyone online portal sacred? Probably porn, but that’s besides the point.
Image via Match.com.

December 16, 2013

Apple’s New App For Gays, Something You Can Bring Home to Mom

A Distinc.tt scene.
(Credit: Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)
Do you feel that the gay community is all too often symbolized by shiny torsos with a body fat percentage below 3?
Do you sense that when you think of gay apps, the first that comes to mind is Grindr?
But what about gay taste? What about the gay sense of style?
This isn't the stuff of mere legend. The fine urban studies theorist Richard Florida has offered that cities thrive when they attract a dynamic gay population.
Some very clever Harvard types (are there any other kind?) believe that, when it comes to apps, the gay community hasn't offered the full bloom of its most tasteful side.
So they've created Distinc.tt. This, they claim, is "the only gay social app approved by theiTunes store for 12-year-olds and older."
Before you mount your high, sweaty horse and exert a moral gallop over the idea, might I say that this app doesn't have sex at its core?
Instead, and I'm quoting the company now, Distinc.tt "uses real-time collective knowledge to connect trendsetting crowds and travelers to the places and people that best reflect their distinct interests."
Implicit in this rococo marketing speak is the notion that gay people know where it's at before, you know, other sorts of people do.
How do I know this? Well, I can read press releases.
Here's an extract: "With an emphasis on good taste, Distinc.tt is sleekly designed to easily lead users to the right event, restaurant, party, or vacation spot for the moment or upcoming calendar, where their friends are or plan to go soon."
Just as Google tells you there are "right" ads and "wrong" ones, so here you can have access to the "right" events, rather than quiz night at your local Uzbek potato vodka bar.
In the iTunes store, Distinc.tt has a charming way of describing itself: "Finally, an LGBT app that you can bring home to Mom!"
"Mom, look! Here's how I found out where the very crunchiest baguettes are at!"
Indeed, Distinc.tt describes itself as "clean, social, and fun."
CEO Michael Belkin told me that this is very different from, say, Grindr: "If you go on Grindr, people change their headline sometimes to 'Visiting tonight, does anyone know the best place to go out?'"
Belkin says he's launching Distinc.tt because he became "disgusted by the tasteless torsos and imagery on gay social sites and apps."
He wants "the good-taste part of the gay stereotype to gain traction with advertisers and cross the mainstream divide."

  In this, he has some very famous and tasteful investors -- old PayPal pals Peter Thiel and Keith Rabois, to name but two.

Taste and art are often intertwined like long-lost lovers, one of whom has flown in from the Andes and the other from Boise. The art here is that Distinc.tt claims it has a proprietary algorithm that ranks places and events for "hotness."
I suspect that you and I (and the hamsters pushing the algorithmic wheel at Distinc.tt) already have our own idea of hotness. Sometimes, though, we're at a loss as to where to find it.
Please remember, we're talking Harvard people here. So don't be surprised that they claim this is "the only app that combines social networking, event ticketing, attendee visibility, location-based services, and hot-spot locating with predictability and in real time."
That's the lovely thing about techies. They do adore predictability.
After all this information, you're probably feeling a need for hotness coming on. What is surely cool, however, about this initiative is that it promises to be your "well-connected, in-the-know, VIP gay friend."
We all need one of those, don't we? Otherwise, we’d all still be eating at Outback.


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