Lulu, the app that lets women secretly rate men, now lets them send men anonymous messages too
It's like Yelp, but for rating guys instead of restaurants.
Co-founder Alexandra Chong says one in four college women in the US uses the app, which first launched in early 2013 to allow women to score men based on anything from appearances and ambition to relationships and sex.
Now, Lulu is becoming more of a messaging and dating app: Lulu has rolled out the ability to let its members send messages.
But only women can make the first move - not unlike Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe's dating app Bumble. But, unlike Bumble, all conversations on the app are completely anonymous. Once the woman feels comfortable, she can choose to reveal her identity, which creates a safe space for women, according to Chong.
Only women can message men, and it doesn't work the other way around. If men don't respond to messages sent their way, then they'll never talk to women on Lulu. So if Lulu is the only anonymish dating app they're using, it's probably in men's best interests to write back.
The men can then choose to respond to the women who contact them anonymously. They don't know anything about the women contacting them, which forces conversation that isn't immediately based on appearances.
When you initiate a conversation with a guy on Lulu, you're given a pseudonym. Both people in the chat also have a feature they can use to send pictures.
At any time, you can review the guy you're talking to, end the chat, or report abuse.
Women can leave positive or negative reviews about their conversations with men. "If he's being a jerk or a sleaze or he's being inappropriate, she can leave a review to let other women know," Chong told Business Insider, adding that Lulu's one-way messaging setup enables women to make the first move without having to fear rejection.
Lulu boasts the potential to talk to a lot of women, which is the app's major selling point to guys.
When you're in Lulu's app, you can search for a guy's profile. You'll see their best and worst qualities, and a smattering of rankings like humor, attractiveness, and manners. You'll also see details pulled from Facebook, like the guy's age, where he went to school, and his relationship status. Women can rank men by choosing from a series of hashtags - #JustFriends, #WanderingEye, and #DoesHisOwnLaundry among them.
Men can't prevent getting rated, but Lulu will delete a man's profile at his request.
Over the summer, Lulu launched a feature to let men check out their own scores. More than a million guys have used it. Besides launching anonymous messaging, Lulu also recently rolled out questions called "Truth Bombs," which Business Insider's Alyson Shontell reported generated five million views in its first month.
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