Saturday, April 19, 2014
Are you female and single? This one is for you.
Last month, The New York Times wrote an article about the new woman-designed app, Lulu, describing it as a sorority-like girls’ club started by founders Alison Schwartz and Alexandra Chong. On Lulu, women can rate men (without their knowledge) in categories — ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, friend or relative — with a multiple-choice quiz. The app is for women only and connects to their Facebook network by using a woman’s log-in to look into the profiles who have identified as male. There, you can see each individual’s basics, including a profile picture, the network he belongs to, and his relationship status. Talk about controversial!
I don't know how I've missed this until now because this app is on fire. At first I was confused. I, not being a woman and having direct access to the app, couldn't quite figure out how this app worked. So, of course, I started snooping around online. Here's a description I found on Wikipedia:
Lulu is a mobile app that allows female users Facebook to make positive and negative evaluations of male users on the basis of their romantic, personal, and sexual appeal. The app allows only female users to access the evaluation system, and evaluations made through the app are attached publicly and anonymously through the app to the accounts of male Facebook users. Lulu describes itself as "a private network for girls to express and share their opinions openly and honestly" about the weaknesses and strengths of the manners, appearances, spending habits, and career ambitions of their male acquaintances. The company's expansion of its user base focuses heavily on recruiting undergraduate members of American all-female sororities, which commentators describe as reflected in the "app's linguistic and visual design [which] is visibly influenced by US sorority culture." - Wikipedia
I also found a great post about Lulu on Refinery29. It really helped me out in understanding the app and writing this post.
Unsurprisingly, this app has generated a considerable amount of media coverage and not a small amount of controversy. I really wished I could deny my curiosity but Lulu had touched on something most people love: the dish. I became even more interested in the app when a female friend showed me another friend's Lulu score. I didn’t want to look, but I couldn’t help it. Then, I was hooked. I wasn't sure how I felt about the fact that men, including myself, could be rated without their knowledge. But, I got over that hesitation quickly. It's pretty easy to be in favor of an app that allows my female friends and family members to be able to determine if that guy they're about to meet on New Year's Eve is a lecherous creep before they agree to go on a date with him. Plus, the app easily allows men to remove their Facebook profile from being able to be rated on Lulu. Sounds fair to me.
So, what do you think? Is Lulu open and honest, or shallow and mean? I'd love to get your feedback. From both female and male readers. Shoot me a message on Twitter at @bobbbyg or leave me a message here in the comments section below.
I vote open and honest. Now, I'll run for cover as I get ready for all the naysayers.
Lulu. It's your new dating armor. Check it out.
IMAGE CREDITS: Lulu
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Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).
Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg
His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).