Insiders reveal how celebrities are reacting to recent dating app profile leaks
- Videos that appeared to show Matthew Perry and Ben Affleck corresponding to dating app users recently went viral.
- Dating apps and celebrity advisers face growing privacy and security concerns.
- Insider spoke to experts, celebrities and influencers who spoke about how online dating is evolving.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
A series of videos that appear to show celebrities like Ben Affleck and Matthew Perry in contact with dating app users are thrilling both the entertainment and dating app industries.
Since its launch in 2015, the Raya invitational dating app has touted itself as an elite platform catering to the needs of celebrities. But in early May 2021, actress and model Nivine Jay posted an explosive TikTok of a video allegedly sent to her by Ben Affleck after he said she was second to none with the actor on Raya. Days later, Kate Haralson, a TikToker who is a personal assistant to reality TV stars Spencer and Heidi Pratt, also went viral by uploading an alleged recording of a FaceTime session she said she had with Matthew Perry. after meeting him on Raya in May 2020.
These incidents did not just happen on Raya. In early June, Twitter user @Stardewlegend posted alleged screenshots of Bumble’s verified profile of “iCarly” actor Jerry Taylor with a tweet, “I didn’t expect dating in LA to be like this.”
zuko’s footwash (@stardewlegend) June 8, 2021
These videos made headlines and received millions of views on social media, shattering any assumption of privacy on dating apps. As dating apps adapt to the reality of the leaks, the features and innovations they implement can have a wider impact not only on their most prominent users, but also on ordinary people searching. of the perfect match.
Insider spoke to publicists, dating apps, matchmakers and influencers to explore how these recent exhibitions could transform online dating.
Celebrities and pundits are more involved in their clients’ love lives than they seem
Kelly Cutrone, the founder of People’s Revolution, a public relations agency, told Insider that celebrities using dating apps are a “bat – a crazy idea.” She said publicists should generally stay out of their clients’ love lives, but by using dating apps, celebrities are not only exposing themselves to potentially embarrassing scandals, but they are also making themselves vulnerable to malicious people.
Don Aviv, the president of Interfor International, a security consultancy that works with celebrities, echoed Cultrone’s position and said he advises high-level people to avoid such apps altogether. He voiced his concerns about hacks, fraud and scams, and argued that no matter how the app gets publicized, online platforms carry too much risk.
Other experts have reported that they are adapting to stars seeking love in the digital realm. Howard Bragman, a Hollywood crisis manager, told Insider he believes celebrities are drawn to these platforms because they provide the opportunity to meet people outside of the entertainment industry. Since stars cannot go to bars and nightclubs anonymously like civilians, they may appreciate the opportunity to find someone from the comfort of their home, he said.
“Celebrities are real human beings who have feelings and would like to date a loved one and meet a loved one, so I see no reason to deny them that,” he said.
Bragman said his famous clients have spoken to him about their use of the dating app, so he’s prepared for the media fallout should he leak. Public relations and branding specialist Matt Yanofsky told Insider that in the past he and other publicists have helped curate the images and interests of customer dating app profiles and that in many In many cases, this has become an extension of their job of managing an image client’s audience.
Influencers and celebrities are moving away from dating apps and using social media to meet people instead
Some influencers have found ways to navigate apps aimed at the public. Kazy, a YouTuber with nearly 470,000 subscribers, told Insider he refused to give out his phone number and home address.
Likewise, Instagram influencer Gwen Singer told Insider that on Bumble and Hinge, she has an entirely different name, does not relate to her social media, and uses non-model photographs for privacy reasons and to see if she can find an authentic connection without the anxiety that people treat her differently.
“Let’s see if you’re really interested in talking to me and knowing who I am,” she said.
Others are moving away from traditional dating apps altogether.
Comedian Ashwin Jacob has said he preferred Raya when he was more “organized,” but now, with more talk about networking and the fear of being secretly taped, Instagram is becoming the app of favorite date of many of his influencer friends.
TikToker Gene Park, which has over 460,000 subscribers, echoed Jacob’s feeling that Raya has started to lose appeal. He said that for many influencers, Instagram’s direct messaging platform works like a dating app, although he has faced chat-fishing and scam attempts “on several occasions”. He said he hoped there would be “another Raya coming out soon, it’s much more exclusive”, with a better screening process.
According to a New York Times report, in 2018 Raya had an 8% acceptance rate and there were still 100,000 people on the waiting list.
Raya did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
App security concerns are changing the face of online dating
Regarding celebrity concerns about privacy, a Bumble spokesperson pointed out the app’s Incognito mode. Included in Bumble Premium, a subscription service that offers a myriad of features and costs $ 32.99 per month, Incognito Mode allows users to be only visible to other users they’ve swiped directly.
Some applications try to solve this problem. Founded in late 2020, Lox Club, a dating platform for Jewish members only, has attracted famous investors like Bhad Bhabie and Lil Yachty.
According to co-founder Alex Lorraine, there are “approximately 50,000 people” on the app’s waiting list. He cited security measures at his Lox Club, such as suspending users who take too many screenshots and making it easy for people to contact his app to report abusive behavior. Lorraine told Insider that there have been no cases of the leaks and believes it is thanks to the Lox Club’s very selective curation process that maintains its culture of confidentiality.
“If you organize your community early on, you get people who aren’t as willing to disclose celebrity profiles,” he said.
Lizz Warner, founder and CEO of Gleam, a video chat dating app that’s currently only available in Los Angeles and New York City, told Insider that she discussed the possibility of celebrity leaks with her. team of developers. On Gleam, users can only communicate via scheduled video chat dates that only exist in the app, and later, if compatible, texts.
According to Warner, since the live video chats on the app and automatically turn off if someone starts a screen recording, this can potentially be useful for privacy-conscious celebrities. She told Insider that in Los Angeles, a number of influencers have already joined her.
Haralson, who leaked Matthew Perry’s alleged video, said while some people accused her of being the catalyst for Perry’s split from her then-fiancé, which she denies, others have responded positively. , telling her she was highlighting the dating dynamic of how “it’s easy for young girls to be courted by these older men with money.
Several sources told Insider that they noticed celebrities became more attracted to dating apps during the COVID-19 lockdown. As restrictions lift, dating will potentially be brought offline, with people returning to mingle at dimly lit bars and parties. But these security and privacy concerns will surely persist, leaving an opening for the next generation of member-only apps to continue selling the elusive promise of digital exclusivity.
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