Love in the Time of COVID-19 is Virtually Booming, Tinder Says

Tami Abdollah

Tami Abdollah was dot.LA's senior technology reporter. She was previously a national security and cybersecurity reporter for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C. She's been a reporter for the AP in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times and for L.A.'s NPR affiliate KPCC. Abdollah spent nearly a year in Iraq as a U.S. government contractor. A native Angeleno, she's traveled the world on $5 a day, taught trad climbing safety classes and is an avid mountaineer. Follow her on Twitter.

Love in the Time of COVID-19 is Virtually Booming, Tinder Says

The novel coronavirus may have forced people into physical isolation, but it has not stopped people from trying to romantically connect with others. It appears, in fact, that love in the time of COVID-19 is virtually booming.

That's according to data provided by online dating app Tinder. The West Hollywood-based company says that starting mid-March -- as the numbers of those infected with the novel virus began to climb and many people were ordered to stay home -- daily messages were up 10-15% compared to the week prior in the U.S.


In Italy and Spain, daily conversation was up 25% compared to the week prior and conversation length was up anywhere from 10-30% over February in places like Europe and Southeast Asia.

People have also taken to using key trending public health terms in their bios, or app profiles. Top terms include "stay home," "be safe," "social distancing" and "wash your hands."

Tinder CEO Elie Seidman said in a message released this week that the team is working to remove geographic barriers so that people can match and chat with someone new no matter their location. As a result, Tinder allowed all subscribers to use its Passport feature for free.

The company is also strongly urging those who do connect to keep their interactions digital for now.

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Do you have a story that needs to be told? My DMs are open on Twitter @latams. You can also email me, or ask for my Signal.

tami@dot.la

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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