Love in the Time of Algorithms

How Can Free Apps Earn Revenue Without Selling User Data? Provide Paid Features Users Actually Want

(Screengrab: Apple Store)

Popularity makes a number of free apps seems successful, but no mater how many downloads they’ve seen, the companies behind them are struggling to generate revenue. With tech giants facing backfire for selling user data, it’s the last thing the little guys want to do to put money in their pockets.

Reently, 3nder came face to face with this dilema. Since the app is facilitating threesomes and linking to users’ Facebooks (just like Tinder), users of the iOS app (and soon the Apple Watch app, too) are especially concerned about privacy. So instead of giving up their data, 3nder listened to their users and figured out a way to turn their wants — not their worst Big Data fears — into money. Read More

XXX in Tech

The Apple Watch Already Has an App For Getting Laid

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 12.37.13 AM

We’ve known about the Apple Watch for less than a week, and already developers have figured out a way to use it for sex. Typical.

Close Encounter is a blind-dating app from the future that will match you up with nearby singles and lead you straight to them, all from the convenience of your wrist. The app was announced in a Medium post full of gorgeous mock-ups that repeatedly refers to the daters using the apps as “the humans” — an attempt either to humanize the object of your overwhelming lust, or make you feel like The Terminator for using it.

“No chat, no bullshit,” the post brags. “Just share your location and follow the line until you reach your match.” Read More