The UK Dating Awards Are Coming

UK Dating Awards 2014

The UK Dating Awards are the UK’s only annual awards event recognizing expertise across the entire Dating Industry. Nice to see something besides the About.com awards and the ballot-stuffing at iDate. The awards are happening in conjunction with the Online Dating Association.

The event will take place in the Prince Consort Rooms of the prestigious Honourable Artillery Company building in London, on the evening of Thursday November 13th.

350 people at $150 per person means almost $50,000 in revenue for a three-hour party. Don’t forget your tuxedo, it’s black tie.

Maybe dating sites think the little Award Winner icon is going to look good on your dating site home page. Almost as useful as dating sites that mention the press they have received.

The dating industry needs more events like this, but they have to push the industry to evolve and do the right thing, otherwise it’s not helping. Wake me up when a dating industry group actually accomplishes sweeping reform to clean up online dating.

Zoosk Launches Photo Verification

Zoosk photo verificationDating site profile photos are a problem. Either people don’t post them, or the ones they do don’t accurately depict how they currently look.

I’ve worked with photo verification patent-holders and used scores of dating sites that have offered verified photos for over a decade. Lot’s of hype and promises, that’s about it.

It’s funny how FriendFinder Networks has offered so many cutting-edge services for over a decade like photo verification, and yet only a few other sites have had offered what’s been common offering at FFN forever.

With their impending IPO, Zoosk has decided to focus on offering people a Verified Photo option.

Zoosk, like all dating sites, went for quantity over quality during their intensive growth period. Millions of inaccurate photos and spam profiles that are now just being addressed because of their IPO.

Where was this concern over the authenticity of their members’ photos years ago? The need was clearly there and the technology existed, but Zoosk needed to fill their database with profiles and their coffers with cash before they worried too much about quality.

I’m not just picking on Zoosk, the entire industry doesn’t appear to understand the concept of authenticity, or safety for that matter. Or if it does, it sure has a funny way of (not) showing it. No background checks, no ID verification, limited photo/profile authenticity, heck, with the “success” of Tinder, matching algorithms are going away as well. These days, dating sites really don’t do much besides display profiles and messaging. Progress!

Zoosk is rolling out photo verification, but in a few different ways from what singles are used to. Instead of the usual request to upload a photo of your drivers license…

Zoosk members will have the choice to use Photo Verification to confirm that their primary profile photo looks like them. Members who choose to verify their photo will be prompted by the system to record and submit a video “selfie” that will capture the individual’s face from a variety of angles. If the moderators approve the member’s photo, he or she will be notified and a Photo Verified badge will be added to their profile. The video “selfie” will remain private.

Neat idea using video like that,  expect single-digit adoption rates for a while. It’s an interesting step towards video profiles though. They have their camera open shooting a video, why not a 2-minute video profile? Yeah yeah, people don’t like video…yet.

Even Match is getting into the facial recognition game, but it’s gonna cost you $5,000.

See also, Identity Protection & Image Protection Service via Face Guardian.

More at Zoosk and WIRED.

Desktop Tinder Is Finally Here

Botinder is an unofficial Google Chrome extension that lets you like and dislike Tinder users even faster than you can using the official app.

Botinder also comes equipped with the terrifyingly named “Booster!” function. Select “Like automatically” and Botinder will begin liking every single Tinder user near you. The “Booster!” speed likes multiple people a second, transforming your screen into a blur of smiling selfies. After a couple of minutes of Booster mode, I’d gained 50 new matches. To put that in context, it can take weeks of furious Tinder app usage to get that many matches, but Botinder had accomplished it in minutes.

I like that the app is open enough and that they don’t care enough about security to enable a small constellation of apps to manage/game Tinder.

Tinder will go the way of Chatroulette. but it’s fun to watch the story arc.

Source: www.businessinsider.com

The Majority of Americans Are Single

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and we outnumber married adults for the first time since 1976, when they starting keeping track. The BLS found that there were 124.6 million single Americans in August, which comes out 50.2 percent of the 16-and-over US population. Yes! It’s a small victory, that .2 percent, but suddenly, I feel less alone. For reference, back in 1976, singles only accounted for 37.4 percent of the adult population (womp). There is a caveat, though (because, of course)—in this particular study, “single” means “not married,” so it’s not taking into account how many 16-and-olders are coupled up or in long-time partnerships, but haven’t made that trip down the aisle yet.

Source: www.self.com