"People are like, 'Oh my God, that’s so fucking sad,’” Raya solves the privacy problem through careful curation, as well as its interface: Try to screenshot someone’s profile, and you’ll get an alert threatening to kick you off the network if the photo makes it online.
(This makes sense, given that careful control of one’s social-media brand is a prerequisite for admission.) Most of the half-dozen Raya members I interviewed were skittish about publicly discussing the app, and preferred to remain anonymous.
He had sandy-brown hair, wide-set blue eyes, and a pet monkey.In the photo, the animal perched on his shoulder, wearing a onesie and stroking his hair.It was cute, in a weird-text-from-your-little-brother's-friend kind of way.I pressed a play button and my i Phone filled with a Patrick montage set to music.Watching the procession of photos felt intimate, like Face Timing a friend, but also creepy, like hacking into someone’s phone. Patrick has a last name even your grandmother who’s never used an app would recognize — his dad's a movie star.
But because we’d both been accepted to Raya, we could be chatting in just a few clicks, if we both tapped the heart on each other’s profiles.calls itself "an exclusive dating and networking platform for people in creative industries.” I’ve also heard it called “Illuminati Tinder.” Members are admitted by a secretive, anonymous committee, based in part on their Instagram presence.The result is something like one of those unmarked nightclubs, except it’s in your phone, and peppered with vloggers and net artists in addition to models and Disney stars of yore.Raya isn’t the first online dating service to try to harness celebrity and status to cultivate an image of exclusivity — its strategy, however, seems shrewder than most.The League, another private dating app, launched last year amid widespread media coverage and .1 million in seed money, and has attracted that’s elite by some standards but blandly corporate by others. Since it launched in March, it has stayed totally out of the press.The people that gravitate to this are diverse, but also, generally, more (internet) famous than their counterparts on other dating services.Kelly Osbourne’s Raya profile on Instagram this week, which marked one of the first times the app has been referenced on public social media.