Dating App Review: Guys! LULU Might Be Hazardous To Your Dating Life!
Just when we thought that things couldn't get any weirder than Tinder, the addictive appearance-centric dating app...along comes Lulu, the wildly popular girls-only dating app for Android devices. Calling Lulu a dating app is a stretch, though, since there's no actual connecting going on.
What Exactly IS Lulu?
The official idea here is for girls to anonymously rate their male Facebook friends and connections, thus offering the female community a heads up on which guys are date-worthy, and which guys they should stay away from. Depending on how you look at things like privacy, informed consent, and social media, your opinion of Lulu's practices and product will either appeal to you, or horrify you.
Founder Alexandra Chong, 33, has described Lulu, which morphed from her original product, Luluvise, (as in..Lulu-advise) as, "A private network for girls to express their opinions openly and honestly...to create and read reviews of guys they know". The app, active since 2013, incorporates a cosmo-quiz questionnaire format, as well as pre-written hashtags, culminating in the assignation of a number rating for each guy. Whether Lulu turns out to be another flash-in-the-pan fad, or morphs into a more complex product, the app has already amassed 3 million users and 500 million profile views.
Girls: Wondering About The Guy You Met Last Night?
Imagine this: You can name search the Lulu app's database to do a little reconnaissance on him. The dude just may have some comments posted on his pic, posted either by an ex, friend, co-worker, relative, or.. any female who knows him through Facebook or sees him on the Lulu site.
Pre-formatted hashtag selections range from warnings: #GoneByMorning, and #Manchild, to "positives" like, #KinkyInTheRightWays, and #LooksHotAllTheTime, and our personal favorite, (no, we are not kidding about this one) #SmellsAmazeballs. Then the lucky bastard earns a 1-10 numerical rating, which is an algorithmic culmination of his reviews and comments.
Although this should be obvious by now, be aware that scorned date wanna-be's and immature ex's often do a happy dance about this unfettered opportunity for retaliation, and can unfairly paint a picture of a guy who is actually a decent dude. Still, who wouldn't think twice or thrice if the guy has a bunch of negatives from several different reviewers, despite how fair or unfair this is. Consider yourself warned that he could be a #TotalF***ingDickhead or #StillLovesHisEx.
Obviously, since your male friends/acquaintances/friends of friends are imported from Facebook, you too have the ability to rank them on commitment, appearance, sex, and manners, anonymously, and without their permission.
Lulu For The Guys: 5 Things You Should Know (Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!)
- Here's the rub: It's safe to say your picture and name are already part of Lulu's database. The question is whether you have been reviewed and rated--yet. If you're between the ages of 17-25, chances are high that you have. The most important thing for you to know, right off the bat is that you can request that Lulu remove you from their database. We'll tell you how to do that in a moment. Practically anyone can rate and review you, despite whether you've even heard of them before.
Case in point: We noticed that along with our established Facebook friends, relatives, and acquaintances, tons of guys we had never heard of popped up on our dashboard (see photo above, from our own Lulu board). We found that we had the ability to rate and review complete strangers, using the search function for "Guys Nearby", or even far away, simply by typing in the name of a college in the search bar.
2. As an experiment, we reviewed and rated a complete stranger through the college search function. Choosing Yale University in New Haven, CT, we chose a handsome fellow who had previously amassed a 9.5 score. By reviewing him, using hashtags and Lulu's multiple choice format, we were able to skew this guy's score substantially, which potentially could quite negatively affect his reputation. And what if he were in a relationship, and his girlfriend or fiance read that he was a #SexualPanther or #Can'tTakeAHint? (And yes, we quickly deleted our review).
3. When guys try to download the Lulu app to get the low-down on their score, Facebook indicates that you are a male, and you get this response:
4. The app redirects you to a mobile Web version of Lulu that's just for males. Unbelievably, you'll be prompted to invite (aka spam) 25 friends to join Lulu before you are able to access your score (consider asking a female friend to access her Lulu acct, rather than go through the gyrations and embarrassment of convincing 25 of your closest friends to sign up for a Lulu account).
5. If you get this far, you'll get to see your score and a daily barometer of how many girls checked you out today. ..and not much else. You will not be able to access details about the hashtags, complaints, or compliments. You can, however, add your own hashtags and photos to your profile (weird), edit relationship status and put yourself out there for girls to review. When a guy posts on Lulu, his comments will appear as blue, rather than the female comments in pink. Did we say weird?
Mad Yet? What we don't like about dating app Lulu
Color us curmudgeonly, or god-forbid, over-the-hill, but we could find little to love about Lulu. Maybe it's our demographic, but we know we aren't alone in our critical response of an app that takes social networking to a whole different level by allowing users to grab others data and photos without their knowledge or permission.
This raises serious questions about data protection and privacy, and there are many critical blog and media articles you can access for more in-depth exploration of privacy policies and social media. Here's the bottom line: if you use Facebook, and your friends sign up for social applications such as Lulu, your name and other details are released almost every time. After an initial maelstrom (including a lawsuit) and a petition on change.org, between members of both sexes, which addressed privacy and ownership issues with Facebook, Lulu revised their policies, including the ability for men to easily remove their profiles from Lulu, instead of the previous gyrations they were required to go through.
One other thing we must point out: the website is slick, hip, and ads are completely filled with young gorgeous women in hot clothes and a handful of gorgeous hot young men. Fun and drool-worthy, but not real in any world we've ever lived in.
What we Like About Lulu:
The Lulu app is free. That's a good thing. The Dear Dude feature, where guys answer very explicit questions (NSFW) is kind of funny. That's a good thing too. The website is attractive, hip, and filled with gorgeous women posing on Lulu's ads. The rest of it, though, appears to be designed to appeal to a room full of high school girls..although you must be 18 officially to use Lulu. Much of the comments, articles, and reader feedback we've combed through indicates an initial fascination with the site, followed by eye rolling, and finally, yawns. The whole set-up becomes tiresome after the novelty wears off, or if you are over the age of 19. So, yeah.. it's..free. We suffered through it so you didn't have to. You're welcome.
Psst: Guys- Here's how to get off Lulu with just one click.
After months of complaints, Lulu revised its privacy policies on November 27, 2013, and made it easy to deactivate your Lulu profile on their lulu app.
Click here: DEACTIVATE MY LULU PROFILE .