De-creeping the dating app experience

“Another app, Singled Out, launched in September, features two different interfaces for women and men. Men have to answer questions posed by women while women can message, block or single-out men based on their responses. These female-friendly features — invite-only, anonymity, filters and blocking — are all tools that women can now add to their arsenal as they navigate the online dating world.”-Felicia Zuniga, Calgary Herald

Calgary Herald

A wave of female-centric dating apps have hit the market recently, all trying to offer solutions to the question — “How can we improve the online dating experience for women?”

Michelle, a 27-year-old Calgarian, regularly uses Tinder, a simple dating app. She likes that you can swipe right if you like the look of someone. And if they swipe right too, you can connect and message each other. Swipe left and they disappear from your feed forever.

Generally, Michelle likes how easy-to-use Tinder is and there’s no need to fill out an entire personality survey before getting started. However, Michelle wishes there was more built-in protection for women using the app.

One of the downsides is that when Michelle uses Tinder, men can see her name and any mutual friends they may have. Several times she has had the experience of a random Tinder user contacting a mutual friend to pry out personal details about…

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Dating apps become popular for ‘window shopping’

The Boston Globe-1By  GLOBE STAFF  NOVEMBER 15, 2014

The new wave of dating apps — including several developed in the Boston area — is trying to capitalize on this trend by putting every imaginable spin on matchmaking. Some offer women more features than men, or base matches on recommendations from friends, or coordinate group dates.

Whatever the twist, the common goal is to make the user experience so simple, fast, and casual that even people who may not have trouble getting a date in real life will want to participate.

“We’re trying to position ourselves in the dating category, but we’re also saying you don’t actually have to use this app for dating at all — you could just use this for feedback,” said Jay Wadhwani, chief executive of Cambridge-based Singled Out.

Launched in October, Wadhwani’s service is designed to appeal to women. The app allows women to ward off unwanted advances by singling out men using a series of yes-or-no questions, such as “Would you date a tall girl?,” or “If I smoke is that a dealbreaker?” Women can send chat invitations to the men whose responses they like, or simply collect the answers as an informal survey. Men cannot initiate contact.

Putting women in charge is one strategy for combating a persistent problem in online dating: harassment. Shielded by computer screens, some men feel emboldened to make improper advances and even verbally attack women who spurn them.

In a Pew survey last year 42 percent of women who use online dating services said they have received messages that make them feel uncomfortable or harassed.

“I actually put right in my profile that I am not looking for a hookup, since I was getting so many offers for a one-night stand,” said Vicky Haskell, a 44-year-old Tinder user from Portsmouth, N.H. “I finally figured I should put it right out there.”

Singled Out app gives women more control in the world of online dating

Posted by on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 · Leave a Comment

(Courtesy of Singled Out)

You upload a photo to a new dating app. Next, you add a question: something that’s important to you, something that guys need to answer correctly before they can even begin talking to you. If they answer wrong, they’re gone.

This is how the Singled Out app developed by SetMeUp works. According to CEO Jay Wadhwani, a former University of Massachusetts student, this program gives women control in the conversations they have with men.

“The whole concept behind Singled Out was to have women ask questions and eliminate guys based on how they respond,” he said.

Wadhwani added that this app avoids the problems that well-known dating apps like Tinder have. Instead of being based on superficial appearances, conversation flows more easily with Singled Out.

“When girls do use Tinder, a lot of times they get a bunch of offensive messages from guys and admittedly it’s funny at times,” Wadhwani said. “But you lose credibility with the app and trust with the people you are meeting.”

The idea was sparked about two years ago with the creation of the Boston-based company known as SetMeUp. An app of the same name was soon launched, which allowed users to connect people to each other through their friends. According to Wadhwani, about 30,000 people signed up on the app but it wasn’t the numbers the company was looking for.

“We had a pretty good track record,” he said. “But I think the product and where the market was wasn’t explosive like Tinder numbers. The user experience was somewhat complex.”

So six months ago, they tried a product that was bigger and better. Thus, the Singled Out app was born.

“Over 25,000 responses have been logged into the app so far,” Wadhwani said. “The people who have been using it have been pretty aggressive on it.”

At UMass alone, about 1,600 students, the majority of which are female, have been participating in the app since its beta launch on campus three weeks ago. Around 1,173 questions were asked so far and 62 percent of men usually answer these questions correctly based on women’s standards.

“The biggest thing that these numbers tell is that men surprisingly like an app that empowers women just as much as women do,” Wadhwani said. “Now that we know that, it really helps us pack in more heat for the female experience.”

And while this creates a new potential dating experience, it has also reveals unique patterns and data about UMass students.

According to Wadhwani, the most popular question women ask men is if they consider themselves dog lovers, followed by if they go to the gym and if they have ever been arrested. The data found that 85 percent of men responded that they were dog lovers and 95 percent like short girls, but 72 percent don’t like girls with short hair.

“I think data tells a story,” Wadhwani said. But from a business standpoint, these numbers also tell the company how to proceed in the future.

“We have very aggressive and edgy marketing campaigns that are directed right at Tinder and most people have been fairly receptive to it,” he said. “We’re going to do a very methodical launch, go from campus to campus in the northeast and start with the schools we know very well and do a cluster-based marketing approach to get maybe 4,000 to 5,000 new users per school. Then let the vitality take off on its own.”

While the purpose of the app is to make connections and possibly seek out romantic relationships, Wadhwani said that this product could expand to become a tool where people provide honest feedback to each other.

“The feedback could be something superficial. It could be girls asking questions like, ‘Do I look good with short hair? Do you prefer blonds or brunettes?’” he said. “Or it could be used for something more unpredictable or functional, like ‘Do you have this textbook for a class?’”

And for this company, the creation and life of this app has been a learning process they will keep improving upon.

“How do you create a Snapchat? How do you create something with the virility of a Yik Yak that goes around the campus and becomes explosive?” Wadhwani said. “Understanding the way people use the app really helps us build a better product for everybody.”

Jaclyn Bryson can be reached at jbryson@umass.edu.

A wave of new dating sites attempts the impossible: getting rid of all the creeps

Technology is often called upon to fix our most entrenched social problems — for better or worse. So it should come as no enormous surprise, then, that a new wave of apps and Web sites has risen to dispense with a particularly modern menace: Internet creeps — and the dating Web sites that enable them.

In the past six weeks, no fewer than three (!) creep-free, lady-friendly dating sites have launched to rave reviews — including one,

Singled Out, which launched in beta this week at the University of Massachusetts, solicits discussion questions from female users — “did you like ‘The Notebook,’ ” or my contribution, “is this app cool?” — and asks male users to vote yes or no. Women can initiate messages with the men whose answers interest them.

If women don’t have good experiences on dating sites, they’re unlikely to stick around — let alone engage with other daters. That hurts women, sure, but it also hurts their potential matches, and it definitely takes a toll on dating sites.

The apps are all attempts to solve an oft-discussed and well-documented industry problem: Women, by and large, are besieged by sexual solicitations, spam and other garbage whenever they log onto an dating site. But they’re also novel efforts to curb unsavory online behavior by preventing it rather than moderating it after the fact. And in that respect, they could be trailblazers not only for the online dating industry, but also for an entire constellation of spam-filled, harassment-marred social sites.

Boston-area’s newest dating app Singled Out debuts, seeks $2M in funding

Sep 26, 2014, 9:00am EDT UPDATED: Sep 26, 2014, 9:05am EDT
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http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/startups/2014/09/boston-areas-newest-dating-app-singled-out-debuts.html?ana=twt%20via

A Cambridge-based startup has debuted a new app for iOS users this week called Singled Out and hopes to close a $2 million institutional funding round to scale next spring, said co-founder and CEO Jay Wadhwani.

Sara Castellanos
Technology Reporter-
Boston Business Journal
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A Cambridge-based startup has debuted a new app for iOS users this week called Singled Out and hopes to close a $2 million institutional funding round to scale next spring, said co-founder and CEO Jay Wadhwani.
Set Me Up Inc. aims to have at least 20,000 users on Singled Out by the end of the year in order to prove out the concept, which Wadhwani hopes will help attract investors.

“We’d use the money to scale the app, hire more people, penetrate the market on a national level and launch in more cities,” he said in an interview. Those might include New York City and San Francisco, he said.
Set Me Up Inc. is currently backed by $500,000 since its founding three years ago from investors including Will Bunker, an early-stage founder of Match.com (now owned by New York City-based IAC) and Cambridge-based TiE Angels.

The newly debuted Singled Out app features two different interfaces for women and men. Men answer questions posed by women such as “What do you like best, the beach or the mountains?” or “Are you a dog-lover?” and women can message, block or “single out” men based on the quality of their responses. “We created this new app because women have had a really difficult time with these popular ‘hot or not’ apps like Tinder,” Wadhwani said.

Singled Out’s target demographic is men and women between the ages of 18 and 26.The company plans to make money by using an in-app currency called “Golden Tickets” that allows users to make internal purchases for extra features including refining matches, increasing visibility, customization of profiles and the option of sending virtual gifts. The company also hopes to make money through banner advertising in the app, which users can pay to have removed. Wadhwani expects it will take 18 months for Singled Out to start becoming profitable.

The company’s first dating app, Set Me Up, debuted about two years ago with the goal of allowing users ask a friend for a personal introduction to a romantic interest. The app had about 30,000 users across 100 campuses in the Boston area before it became defunct coinciding with the launch of the Singled Out app.
Set Me Up Inc. employs eight out of an office in Cambridge. An Android version of the Singled Out app will debut in January 2015.

Singled Out app Launch Week at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Singled Out app Team is excited to officially announce the College Launch Tour–kicking off a week long start at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Amherst, MA.

UPDATE: Amherst, MA- September 28th to October 8th, 2014.
In just a week of the beta launch the app acquired 1,600 active users and organic growth each day.

Here is some interesting data: New Growth/Users as of 10/14

Percentage of Male Users: 25%
Percentage of Female Users: 75%
How Many Men Answered Wrong: 38%
How Many Men Answered Correctly: 63%
Total Number of unique votes made by Male Users: 387
Total Number of Female Users who has shared questions: 296
Total Number of active questions : 448
Total Number of Male Users singled out by Female Users: 140
Guys have voted on questions over 25,000 times!

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What is Online Dating still missing?

What is the problem with online dating? Yes, many popular dating sites and apps source hundreds of people so it is hard to focus and make a connection with that special one. However let’s dig deeper and go beyond this with the million dollar question:

Why have some individuals who have encountered good opportunities of meeting their ideal mates lost the chances to develop the desired relationships?

The right opportunities based on mutual reward, similarity and physical attractiveness are very important however these factors are meaningless without the right mind set. Recent studies show that many online daters carry the emotional negativity and baggage of fear, anxiety and other mental conflicts due to past hurts in interpersonal situations. This fear or emotional distress is experienced through invalidation through the individual as well as societies thoughts on levels of attractiveness.

Most online dating sites have become highly specified to try to make connections more effective and easier. The more specified categories and features in return is creating superficial options. Online dating makes us artificially to define ourselves as well as predicts the effectiveness of possible relationships without even interacting yet, while also ignoring the affection cues from the real people who are attracted us.

“All categories are just the maps or substitutes of social reality, not the reality itself. When people use categories to predict an interaction (but not pay attention to the other’s real communications, they will produce two outcomes: a), avoiding love from right individuals, and, b) approaching the wrong person(s).”- Key Sun, Ph.D.; The Justice and Responsibility League

The Singled Out App brings something unique to the table. Instead of the basic and outsourced method of swiping users based on pictures as well as finding potential connections through specified categories–women are interacting with users based on questions. The interesting other factor of this app is that the female controls the whole sourcing and connection process, men can’t message unless the woman agrees with the answer to the question she presented.

Check it out in the appstore and let us know what you think! http://bit.ly/1toHqlI

SingledOut app’s Launch Party!

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Come join us as we celebrate the launch of Singled Out Appa new flirting game that empowers women.
Also make sure to download Singled Out app in the Apple App Store today. Or, if you want to learn more about the new app and our company, check out this page: igg.me/at/singledoutapp

Here are the details:
Location: Empire Hotel Rooftop (44 W 63rd St, New York, NY 10023)
Time: Begins at 6pm
Date: Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 
Theme: It will be a new twist on the ‘Beauty and the Geek’ concept. 
Additional Information: We are partnering with Overtime Productions and complimentary drinks will be served between 6-7pm. 
 
Please RSVP at either of the links below:
 
With further inquires or If you are a freelance writer who wants to attend and create the next buzz in the tech industry, please also RSVP at PR@setmeupinc.com to be put on a special VIP list.