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Chris Messina
Hunter
@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
Is Hinge giving OKCupid a run for their money? Or is it just not that strategically advantageous to copy Tinder anymore? (I'm guessing the latter). This looks like a pretty significant design and product update for OKC... just in time too! 💟
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@chrismessina Chris this feels more like "hater" copy and pasting and testing some of their methodologies in light of what's happening particularly in America with our political unrest..Okcupid is actually owned by the same exact company that owns Tinder. Look at Facebook & Instagrams "creativity" mother co copy all the time among other smaller subsidiaries. I know because I've had a few fortune 500 companies as clients, and copy and paste abound with their level of thinking. The dating game has always been one sided since its inception ( focus on the men to get all of the value and offer up predatory like features that don't at all make women feel welcomed and safe long term ) and charge the men handsomely because they are more likely statistically to pay long term even for less and less value, just look at match and ashley madison both historically for almost a decade using bots for their whole inception, over 98% of their female userbase was fake, fake just bots men were talking to. So for majority of the industries history, going from actual matchmakers to a digital playground the intent was very very misplaced and that seed is a part of a lot of the dating culture and motivations, the unrest is that a lot of these players are feeling the pressure to actually solve for dating, to actually incrementally offer more and more value and they have no idea how. Hence the copy and paste methodology. Hinge is a joke for majority of the people, I'm taking hundreds of millions of singles globally even just in America, their current model won't scale. It will prove to be short-sighted and just a marketing gimmick with lots of holes, they are trying to offset their churn rate by charging their very active userbase and monetize like tinder but the value offered are two different propositions which hinge doesn't understand. There isn't much accountability in this space, so I won't hold my breath for anything more than a hit and miss delivery here with pretty pictures. Get impressed when they innovate on a much higher level before anyone else does not when they copy and paste off of each other.
Jade Clark@jadenyc · PR/Branding Consultant
@nicholassheriff @chrismessina I disagree and find your analysis on most points here to be way off the mark and skewed by a strong negative bias you seem to have for this entire industry.
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@jadenyc @chrismessina Ok I'll offer statistics....firstly I run a product design firm, and I've consulted with several dating co in this industry over the years and many of my friends use to work in this industry. That was what I was speaking to Jade...not opinion when a client wants to sign a six figure contract with my firm and these are their motivations. But let me take you down memory lane....I focused on execution period, not the industry as a generality, as I mentioned before so far the execution hasn't been valuable for everyone involved. Suit Claims Majority Of Match.com Profiles Are Fake Former Employees Back Up Claims http://www.thedenverchannel.com/... Not an opinion facts... They own okcupid and tinder and everyone else, 80% of the dating industry is owned by one company...that is not my opinion Jade that is an actual fact. http://gizmodo.com/almost-none-o... Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site http://www.nydailynews.com/news/... reddit - tinder and bots https://www.reddit.com/r/Tinder/... the company is silent Tinder Bans 13 To 17-Year-Old Users From Its Dating App http://www.konbini.com/us/lifest... https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/... http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tec... Tinder under fire over claims it allows 13-year-olds to use 'highly sexualised' dating services Tinder BANS underage kids after being slammed for letting 13-year-olds ‘swipe right’ It took then years to ban 13-17 year olds because they tied to their inflated valuation and metrics. The ban came because of PRESS not because of conflict. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femai... http://radio.rte.ie/radio1highli... More than 7% of Tinder's users are aged between 13 and 17, according to Tinder's co-founder Justin Mateen, which means they actually outnumber the 35 to 44-year-olds, who make up 6.5 percent of the app's users. Nicholas didn't say this the co founder of Tinder did Jade.
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@jadenyc @chrismessina again this gets ignored by the co and they simply put a PR spin on it. https://www.reddit.com/r/OkCupid... https://www.quora.com/Why-Does-O... nonoe of what I have said none of it isn't known to millions of people fact...they have been talking about all of my points for years..not days not months not recently YEARS Jade let me know if you need any more links from other people saying the same exact thing. FBI Warns of Online Dating Scams https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/f...
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@jadenyc @chrismessina https://news.vice.com/article/on... Reports of Rape Linked to Online Dating Rise 450 Percent in Five Years I was talking about mostly men ( who are the ones funding these dating co ) that's a statistical fact, focusing most of their energy on producing that celebrates them being predatory tied to of dating, not for compatibility, they focus on men to get the revenue in.
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@jadenyc @chrismessina http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/... A startling 57 percent of women and 21 percent of men report experiences of harassment in online dating, according to a 2016 opt-in survey by Consumer Research. The frequency of such experiences ranged from "once or twice" to "always." None of them have done absolutely anything to put a stop to this not in policy and culture and accountability or in innovative solutions with technology. Because it's about money.
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@jadenyc @chrismessina http://www.dailymail.co.uk/scien... 'It's a playground for paedophiles': Perverts are luring schoolchildren into sending nude selfies using a dating app known as 'Tinder for teens' Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/scien... Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@jadenyc @chrismessina @mailonline https://medium.com/@billyroh/sto... Stopping Abuse on Dating Apps Dating is hard for everyone. And if you’re a person of colour, it can be even harder. For example, these are some messages I’ve gotten in the past six months: “U should be glad a white guy is willing to talk to u u ugly asian” “why are you on here? no one likes asian guys” “Go back to China bitch”
Chris Messina
Hunter
@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
@nicholassheriff I mean, part of the problem is the humans in the loop, right? Twitter has a similar problem. What do you propose these companies do to curb abuse/bad behavior?
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@chrismessina Exactly Chris, it's like a doctors trying to treat patients that have been thrown from their car, in an accident onto the street...the issue isn't better medical coverage it's seatbelts. So far as everyone can literally see right now majority of those in the industry are taking more of an approach like Jane to literally ignore millions of their users, because people have been complaining period about every point I've made since the first dating site showed up over a decade ago, complaining about things tied to the human condition that will not change. Our response shouldn't be how it has been ignoring innovative opportunities to address this head on and ignore it....the conversation has to involve the very people we are hoping to come onboard and increase our valuations and our revenue, and this is important and not at a cost of their peace of mind, value as a person and overall wellness in life. The #1 issue is empathy I cry about this stuff, I go to bed at night thinking about how an industry that has promised to do so much has actually done so little in offering value in this way and is rally hurting society as a whole. PRobelm is an overwhelming majority aren't losing sleep over any of this at all, the sleep lost are on different metrics...perhaps DAU or revenue. The majority are silent...silent about this lol so forget about lets see if they innovate around protection, abuse, racism, and literally obeying the law and making their product/service safe and not encouraging its use among underaged kids. They won't talk about this because they know this is an issue and they could care less about solving it. Also solving an issue like this requires listening to everyday people, across different backgrounds and cultures and it requires a responsive and diverse team. Something I also haven't seen here....it's very hard to show up as I have with past clients in the dating space and everyone is a white male staring at me talking about how we have to protect women and kids, none of them have kids and they laugh about doing anything for women. One guy even remarked you mean we should charge them more as a joke when I mentioned protecting them. I can't sit here and say I have the answers to solve for dating but what I know to not be a fact but an opinion is everyone in the industry answers to no one and they all have simply gotten by copy and pasting off of one another and just focusing internally on metrics that do not matter to making people's lives more fulfilled and fostering the right environment where wonderful connections can spring forth. Sure there have been some interesting steps here but the overwhelming majority of co and the industry, I didn't say 100% I had overwhelming majority doesn't care enough. Becuase I've seen what they care about and we've read about it...DAU, MAU...and revenue growth. I've seen companies fight for their survival to be relevant and innovative on some level, I've seen what it looks like to care about the metrics that are absolutely important to them, we all have and when their quarterly earning report needs to go to investors it isn't filled with regret after years and billions in value and millions in revenue and hundreds sometimes thousands of employees they have done absolutely nothing to even address anything I've said...shouldn't that raise red flags in this industry. Even my co which primarily focuses on bringing AI, and computer vision technology to entryway people in transformative ways, knows that these so called tech companies aren't really touching any transformative technology and providing solutions even in a basic lets see if this works level on day one not 7 years from now when millions of people beg and people are getting raped all across the country and your valuation is going up. Once this changes from profit to people we actually will get somewhere. We have a company that values getting a patent ( UBER ) on price surging algorithm and not addressing the $100 million dollars sexual harassment lawsuit filed against them. So I wasn't simply even focusing on dating I was shining a flashlight on the entire industry as a whole. If investors which I have never ever seen would not give huge rounds of funding even seed funding to startups that don't innovate in these areas around privacy, safety, and protection especially among young kids then it would in addition to other measures start a discussion. But how do you have a discussion with anyone that rightfully so can say to us I don't have to do any of what you are saying Nick like most in this industry and my valuation won't go down it actually will go up and we'll make all of this money off the backs of everyday people, and we will end up once the dust settles taking value from the world and not adding to it. So far I haven't met anyone willing to have this conversation openly and honestly, a conversation that involves following up their words with actions, and believe me these actions might require years of work, incur additional funding for hiring and spending in areas they don't ( AI, computer vision ) etc but as long as they simply do not have to do anything they won't and that's the sad part. Because the problem most definitely ends up being a choice that they continueally make without remorse or consequence.
Kelly Kuhn-Wallace@kkdub · 🎯Strategist for Hire
@nicholassheriff In B2C, a firm's failure to act ethically as it relates to a person(s) will tank the metrics you mention -- but not until victims are identified and the public/future customers/investors see the consequences. And those victims? These men and women may not know -- ever -- that they are paying to chat with bots. They may not know that a minor investment in technology could have prevented sexual assaults. And like any victim of a personal crime, these victims will be understandably reluctant to come forward. Big problems here. But you have data that many of us have never seen before. Why isn't there a randomized study of how many profiles actually turn out to be real people on these services? My 5 second lit review revealed a plethora of research globally, but a lit review doesn't seem to exist. Dating apps are not inherently bad, but everyone needs more information about how to choose one and protect themselves along the way. The app makers can't police themselves and neither can anyone else.
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Quest
@kkdub I disagree with you Kelly, about the first point because in the valley a lot of these companies lie about all of their metrics. What does the market ( vc market ) do when a company is being deceptive? They give them more money and a higher valuation no correction is done. Everyone simply wants to get paid...full stop. Facebook Overestimated Key Video Metric for Two Years https://www.wsj.com/articles/fac... Some metrics were 83% off but yeah everyone is saying fraud isn't a big deal lets get over it. I thought this was all illegal but apparently it isn't' for some and illegal for others. Did Snapchat Fake Growth Numbers To Boost Its IPO Value? This Ex-Employee Seems To Think So http://www.zerohedge.com/news/20... Snapchat Has Been Faking Growth Numbers, Ex-Employee Alleges http://variety.com/2017/digital/... So they don't care about churn when they just buy their userbase all over again after each quarter and believe me that's happening right now. They loose most of their userbase after 3-6 months and they just buy those users back in many ways spam and ads. They do not see anyone as a victim they see their objective and it has little to do with dating and more to do with hookup culture. Women are the ones really getting hurt here, women because men are the ones who control this entire marketplace, men are the ones getting funding that's a statistical fact. Their isn't a diverse group of people working on these issues and a diverse group of people won't get any funding to work on any of this. They feel that if they don't sell sex and focus on men and only focus on exploiting women and making sure men get everything they want they will loose revenue they want to make billions and then move onto the next clone/concept. I have data that many of us have never seen before? That would be understandable if this was 1930s this is 2017, we have the internet....90% of the information that damaging and really surreal is from extensive reporting from great journalists for the past 10 years plus. What you are seeing which you didn't mention is people actually ignoring information, a choice has to be made and so far I've seen choices being made it's only the wrong choice. You have to be willing to listen and act...and have the right motivations to empower you daily on the right objectives. These dating co that are springing up every month and getting funding, many of them do not, not all. How can a technological company that is brining in millions in revenue has hundreds of engineers employs tech in ways that are irrelavent to any of the points we mentioned but are 100% focused on making them more money with less and less value not know that technology can be transformative for the #1 issue that anyone with any kind of social product needs to be aware of. That literally would be the definition of a unfit founder...it makes no sense. They know and they do not care, they literally will talk about all of this just for us to read about it and to not follow up their words with actions which I spoke about above. Talking without having any desire at all to put anything in action. Tinder's Sean Rad On How Technology And Artificial Intelligence Will Change Dating http://www.forbes.com/forbes/wel... Nothing will be done because they don't have to do anything and they don't care to do anything and none of us who are in tech and have a reach and voice will make any of this a torn in their spine. So that it is bad business to do this in a way that is obviously apparent. There needs to be deeper reporting for sure but even some of these media companies, remember reporters have a boss, can't write certain things about any of these co and even when they do....damage control is in effect they are all tainted. No one said dating apps were bad my only point was people not technology, technology does nothing people build things not things building things. So we need people to get to work on making this more valuable, safe and a wonderful experience long term. But none of these dating co want to be around for decades....they get in get rich and watch as so many innocent womens lives especially globally are forever changed for the worse in more cases than for the better. To your last point I disagree somewhat and I won't go into detail but I'll quote Jony Ive to elaborate why it's misplaced and why these co are betting on you blaming yourselves so they actually have no accountability and it falls 100% on you the user. Jony: In art school. The computers colleges had were terrible. I assumed the problems were with me. "When you eat something that's bad, you assume the food is bad. But when you use a bad product, you assume it's you." When we start to hold these co accountable the same way we hold a chef accountable for bad food and send it back to get what we ordered we'll get somewhere....this means we need to come together and take a stand, and that means men too men have to be more vocal because men are the ones funding dating companies. Men and the ones getting the funding to start these co and women have been saying all of this for years. I'm not holding my breath because all of these overvalued companies do not see that their is an issue and they literally will ignore all mentions of this said issue until it hurts their valuation or hurts their image to the point they loose actual monetary value. Go after their money and I'm not talking revenue. I'm talking how much they are worth to investors and then you get the ball rolling. I'm contemplating on starting a blog/app to start exposing this I just might...
Alessandro Schiassi@alessandro_schiassi · CEO & Founder at Magnetic Field, Inc.
@nicholassheriff I love everything you wrote here! Spot on! I'd be curious to know your opinion about my dating app, Magnet: https://www.producthunt.com/post... We are taking safety very seriously and, hopefully, our on-site approach could fix all the issues you mentioned with online dating.
Phil Wolff@evanwolf · product person
@nicholassheriff @kkdub Risk. This is about making aggregating personal/societal risks into investor risks. This should inform dating service management's risk taking. Management could post a $100K safety bond per date, assuring that no physical harm would come to either party on the first three in-person dates. With exposure like this, the operator would have financial incentives to track assaults facilitated by their service, to pay for things like a human screening of both parties, to run simple identity verification and criminal violence background checks. Right now these risk are entirely borne by the daters. By coming up with mechanisms to have operators share in those risks, they'll innovate to minimize them. Litigation is far too slow, iffy, and indirect a means to bring those risks from the daters to the operators designing and running dating services. Other mechanisms? Regulators (perhaps a US state Attorney General?), public shaming, safety audits/certifications...
Ben Fox@benjaminefox · Co-Founder, FlowPress
I met my wife on OK Cupid. Excellent service. Loved the Q&A side of it.