New Hinge App Lets You Set Up Your Single Friends

If you’re single and you use dating apps, we’re sure you’ve been there: Your partnered friends grab your phone so they can swipe around and make matches for you. “They didn’t have this when I was single,” your friend might gleefully cackle. And so, in an effort to let the coupled-up join the mobile fun, dating app Hinge is now offering would-be matchmakers the chance to set up their friends.

Make me a match

Hinge Matchmaker allows users to see which of their Facebook friends are on Hinge — or invite those who aren’t on it yet to join — then view suggested potential matches, and recommend them to their intended targets. Or, you can choose a friend you want to set up.

Those friends can then decide whether or not they want to connect on the Hinge app.

“We found a lot of people who felt like they missed out on the dating app craze wanted to be able to participate in some way,” Hinge founder Justin MacLeod tells TechCrunch. “A lot of times, people will pull out their friend’s phone and swipe for them on other apps.”

For now, Hinge Matchmaker is a standalone app for iOS only, but it could eventually be integrated into the main app.

Get me out of here

Don’t want your non-single pals poking around in your business — or for them to know that you’re on Hinge in the first place? You can opt out of Matchmaker.

iOS
First update to the latest version of Hinge.
Then:

1. Tap Settings
2. Tap Hinge Matchmaker
3. Scroll to the bottom and toggle off “Let friends matchmake for me”

Android
You’ll have to write hello@hinge.co with the subject line “Matchmaker” and indicate you’d like to opt-out.

Women Like The Smell Of Guys Who Eat A Certain Diet

What we eat can influence more than our waistlines. It turns out, our diets also help determine what we smell like.

A recent study found that women preferred the body odor of men who ate a lot of fruits and vegetables, whereas men who ate a lot of refined carbohydrates (think bread, pasta) gave off a smell that was less appealing.

Skeptical? At first, I was, too. I thought this line of inquiry must have been dreamed up by the produce industry. (Makes a good marketing campaign, right?)

But it’s legit. “We’ve known for a while that odor is an important component of attractiveness, especially for women,” says Ian Stephen of Macquarie University in Australia. He studies evolution, genetics and psychology and is an author of the study.

From an evolutionary perspective, scientists say our sweat can help signal our health status and could possibly play a role in helping to attract a mate.

How did scientists evaluate the link between diet and the attractiveness of body odor?

They began by recruiting a bunch of healthy, young men. They assessed the men’s skin using an instrument called a spectrophotometer. When people eat a lot of colorful veggies, their skin takes on the hue of carotenoids, the plant pigments that are responsible for bright red, yellow and orange foods.

“The carotenoids get deposited in our skin,” explains Stephen. The spectrophotometer “flashes a light onto your skin and measures the color reflected back,” says Stephen. The results are “a good indicator of how much fruits and vegetables we’re eating,” he says.

Stephen and his colleagues also had the men in the study complete food frequency questionnaires so they could determine the men’s overall patterns of eating. Then the men were given clean T-shirts and asked to do some exercise.

Afterward, women in the study were asked to sniff the sweat. (Note: The methodology was much more scientific and precise than my breezy explanation, but you get the picture.) “We asked the women to rate how much they liked it, how floral, how fruity,” and a bunch of other descriptors, explains Stephen.

It’s a small study, but the results were pretty consistent. “Women basically found that men who ate more vegetables smelled nicer,” Stephen told us.

Men who ate a lot of meat did not produce a sweat that was any more — or less — attractive to women. But meat did tend to make men’s odor more intense.

“This is not the first study to show that diet influences body odor,” says George Preti, an adjunct professor in the dermatology department at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.

A study published in 2006 found that women preferred the odor of men who ate a non-meat diet, “characterized by increased intakes of eggs, cheese, soy, fruit and vegetables.”

But Preti points out that the relationship between diet and body odor is indirect.

Some people think if they eat a garlic or onion — or a piece of meat — they will smell like that food. “But that’s not what happens,” Preti says. Your breath might smell like the food you eat, but not your sweat.

Body odor is created when the bacteria on our skin metabolize the compounds that come out of our sweat glands.

“The sweat doesn’t come out smelly,” Preti explains. “It must be metabolized by the bacteria that live on the surface of the skin.”

Now, of course, at a time when good hygiene and deodorant use are commonplace, is the smell of our sweat a big concern?

I put that question to the happy hour crowd at a bar down the street from the NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“I’m pretty OK with my smell,” Stefan Ruffini told me. That evening he was ordering a burger on a bun and a side of fries, along with a beer. When I told him about the findings of the study, he laughed it off.

“I’ve got a girlfriend, so I don’t worry about these things,” he said.

The study did not assess diet and odor attractiveness among same-sex couples.

“As a lesbian, I haven’t smelled a man in several years,” Stacy Carroll, who was also at happy hour, told me. “I eat a lot of produce, I have a girlfriend, so it’s working out.”

Carroll says people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables are more likely to be interested in their health — “feeling good, looking fit” — than their smell.

This Map Shows What Single People Hate the Most in Each State

Hater, a dating app created in the same vein as Tinder, matches people based on things they mutually hate. After all, some of the strongest relationships are built on a foundation of mutual hatred, bolstered by complaining, whining, and general bitching. Thankfully, there’s an app for that, and the people behind Hater have now consolidated their data and come up with a map that shows what each state hates the most. The results are, well, interesting.

Some states have more predictable hates than others. Connecticut hates winter, Hawaii hates people who take videos at concerts, and Illinois hates biting string cheese. And yeah, same! These are perfectly acceptable things to despise, and there is surely plenty of people who can relate.

But some states go extra hard. New Hampshire, for example, goes straight for the jugular and hates God. Delaware hates Casey Affleck, which is both fascinating and confusing. And D.C. hates the idea that everyone has a soulmate, which says a lot about the deep soul-crushing nature of politics.

Dating App Announces New Celebrity Lookalike Search Function

Fans of the r/dopplebangher subreddit, where people post nudes of women who look a lot like attractive celebrities, are about to have an official dating app. The developers at Badoo have announced that their app will soon allow users to find new matches based on the celebrities each person looks most like. That means if you’re obsessed with Emma Watson, you might be able to find women in your area who have her pixie-esque face shape.

The app will make connections between regular users and celebrities by enacting facial recognition technology — similar to the algorithm that notices your friends’ faces in Facebook photos and suggests you tag them. Though Badoo will suggest popular celebrities for searches, it will also allow users to upload new photos of celebrities and ask the system to find matches.

Of course, by that logic, people will now be able to upload a photo of anyone on earth, including their own exes and ask Badoo to find them lookalikes. As a Badoo user, you won’t have any idea how your date found you — you could very well look like the guy who broke her heart just weeks ago. It’s probably worth mentioning that the subreddit devoted to this kind of thing is really only half celebrities and half requests for “my ex” or “this girl I once worked with.”

Badoo, a London-based app used primarily outside the United States, was first released in 2006, and is currently the most widely used dating app in the world. Though it still hasn’t overtaken Tinder in the U.S., it’s the biggest dating app in South America, Europe, and Mexico and Central America.

Dating App Lets You Flirt With Coworkers

Ah Slack, a wonderful place to swap gifs, procrastinate with your colleagues, and, now, create an utter nightmare for H.R. That’s because the dating app Feeld has introduced a Slack bot that connects mutually attracted coworkers.

“It is another social experiment from us, we are curious about how companies from around the world will respond to it,” write Feeld’s founders in a Medium post. “Some might argue that it’s a risky move to install such a bot (and behavior) at the work place, yet we think it has the potential to make the work place more human.”

Here’s how it works: You tell the bot who you’re crushing on in your employer-sponsored Slack channel. Feeld promises to keep the information private unless said crush tells the bot that he or she is into you. If there’s a mutual crush, it notifies you both and then, well, trips to the water cooler get even more awkward. That or you fall madly in love and drive the rest of your coworkers nuts.

There’s a catch, though: only one of the administrators of your company Slack channel can add the bot. In other words, a higher up has to actually encourage this kind of digital fraternizing. If you have an employer who thinks it’s a cool idea to turn Slack into a dating app, chances are your workplace environment is already pretty toxic — but the bot itself seems guaranteed to only make things worse.

Feeld does, at least, make a point of encouraging users to recognize consent, respect people’s boundaries — or, in their words, “don’t be a D” — and avoid “discrimination, intimidation, or marginalisation of any kind.” But then it also says things like, “When someone doesn’t like something, it’s fine, don’t worry about it.” Um, OK.

The company understands that this bot violates every tenet of workplace professionalism and, basically, doesn’t care. “We have predefined frameworks of love, work and how we should behave according to company guide books, religious beliefs or governmental bills,” the founders write. “All of us at Feeld question the norms and define our own more human, more real way of existing in the world.”

Next up, perhaps, they should make a bot to help H.R. deal with their booming workload.

Breakup Study Reveals the Smart Way to Get Over Your Ex

It’s a universal truth that breakups blow. Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, the end of a relationship is a far cry from the neurochemical swirl that made you fall in love in the first place. Because we’re a long way from being able to swallow an anti-love drug to get past the pain, other self-help techniques need to be employed. Luckily for the brokenhearted, a team of neuroscientists recently published some scientific advice for dealing with the relationship blues.

In The Journal of Neuroscience, a team of psychologists and cognitive scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder show that placebo treatments aren’t just for medical studies — they can treat emotional pain, too. Testing a placebo drug on people experiencing “social pain” after getting dumped, they discovered that the placebo actually reduced that pain. In other words, faking it until you make it isn’t a terrible idea when it comes to breakups. In fact, if you convince yourself that one (hopefully healthy) thing will dull the heartache, it might actually do the job.

The researchers tested this out by recruiting 40 people who had been dumped within the past six months and asked to bring in a picture of either their ex or a platonic friend. The scientists wanted to know whether looking at photos of their ex would cause pain, and if so, whether they could trick the brain into not feeling that pain.

First, to test whether emotional pain was really pain, each participant looked at a photo of their ex while their brain activity was scanned with an MRI machine. Then, while their brains were still being scanned, varying degrees of heat were applied to participants’ arms, and they rated, on a scale, the amount of pain that they felt. Similar regions of the brain were active when people looked at pictures of their exes and when they experienced physical pain, proving to the researchers that emotional pain triggered comparable neurological activity.

Then came the placebo: Every participant was given a nasal spray, but only half the participants were told that it was a “powerful analgesic effective in reducing emotional pain.” The other half knew it was just bogus. But that didn’t matter — the study showed that the bogus spray did have an effect.

The people who thought they had a special spray to dull the pain were revealed, in subsequent MRI scans, to experience less emotional and physical pain when they looked at pictures of their exes. The placebo also increased activity in the participants’ dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls emotions.

“These findings suggest that placebo treatments reduce emotional distress by altering affective representations in frontal-brainstem systems,” write the authors.

In the past, placebos have proven to effectively convince medical patients that they’re being healed, but there hasn’t been as much evidence of the placebo effect working in social situations. This research, however, demonstrates that placebos can indeed shape emotional experiences. So, if you’re feeling raw after a breakup, take solace in knowing you can placebo your way out of a rut, lowering the chances you’ll get back together with your ex and start the painful cycle all over again.

Facebook’s New Tool Aims To Stop Revenge Porn

With a set of new tools, Facebook is seeking to stop the spread of revenge porn on its network, the company said on Wednesday.

To help stop intimate photos from being shared without a person’s consent, the social network will implement photo-matching tools that identify reported images and not only take them down from other Facebook News Feeds, but across all Facebook-owned platforms including Messenger and Instagram.

“If someone tries to share the image after it’s been reported and removed, we will alert them that it violates our policies and that we have stopped their attempt to share it,” Facebook said in a company blog post.

This is not the first time Facebook has tried to address revenge porn. However, people have still managed to post and share intimate photos of others without their permission. The most recent high-profile case was of a group of U.S. Marines who were posting nude photos of servicewoman in a secret Facebook group. They eventually moved on to using Snapchat when Facebook cracked down on the groups after they received publicity.

Facebook is not alone in the fight against revenge porn and worked with other online communities to build out the system. The company also hopes to start a domino effect and help other companies in the industry implement similar features.

“We worked with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and other companies to create a one-stop destination for victims and others to report this content to the major technology companies,” Facebook added.

To report a photo that might be considered “revenge porn,” users can click on the ellipses icon next to a post and then “report.” Users will then be asked to provide a reason for reporting the image.

Tinder Launching A Web Version Of Its Dating Platform

Eons ago, online dating services like Match.com and OKCupid were forged in the fires of the internet, only later to evolve into occupants of the app ecosystem. But Tinder was born as an app, looking down on the elder generation and generally swiping left on the idea of a “website.” Now, like a teenager who “discovers” their cool aunt’s CD collection and can’t shut up about Screaming Trees and Portishead, the swipe-centric dating app is going retro with the launch of a web-based version.

Tinder Online is aimed at those lonely hearts out there who might not have reliable web service on their mobile devices or enough space to download the app. This way, instead of staring at your phone at work or in class, your boss or teacher can catch you swiping on your computer.

For the moment, the online experience is “slightly more limited than the mobile app experience,” Tinder says, though it’s unclear exactly how. As seen in a demo video, it seems that users don’t currently have the option to swipe with their friends for other groups of users, a feature that was launched on the mobile version added last year.

You won’t be able to sign in on your web browser just yet, as the company is only testing it in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, and Sweden right now.

Study Says Having Sex Makes You More Productive at Work

If you want to be happier and more productive at work, the secret is to be more reproductive at home. At least, that’s what a new study out of Oregon State University concluded. Couples who have active sex lives do better in the office. It sounds great, but the study is arousing … some skepticism.

Keith Leavitt, an associate professor in OSU’s College of Business, looked at 159 married employees for two weeks and had them complete brief surveys every day. The people who engaged in a lil coitus reported feeling better the next morning, and those good vibes carried over through the workday, lasting up to 24 hours. Both male and female sex-havers reported feeling more engaged and satisfied with their work at equal rates, and this feeling was consistent even when factoring in marital satisfaction and sleep quality.

Leavitt attribute much of the good mood to the dopamine that’s released during intercourse.

“We make jokes about people having a ‘spring in their step,’ but it turns out this is actually a real thing and we should pay attention to it,” Leavitt said in a release. “Maintaining a healthy relationship that includes a healthy sex life will help employees stay happy and engaged in their work, which benefits the employees and the organizations they work for.”

Here’s probably where we should point out that two weeks isn’t a very long time for a study like this, and 159 people isn’t exactly a sweeping sample size. The study also suggests that sex and job satisfaction are a two-way street, making the conclusions a little more gray — and not in the 50 Shades way. The research found that people who brought their work home with them and were stressed at their job were less likely to have sex. In this reading, having sex is a symptom of a good job, not the cause of it.

There’s probably at least a kernel of truth to the idea that a good 69 leads to a better 9 to 5, so to speak. It’s just much more complicated than the study’s main takeaway makes it seem.

“This is a reminder that sex has social, emotional and physiological benefits, and it’s important to make it a priority. Just make time for it,” Leavitt said. He’s not wrong, but the study seems like it should be just that, a reminder, rather than final proof that nightly hookups will magically cure all your work woes.

‘Friending’ Your Ex on Social Media Could Doom Your Current Relationship

This Valentine’s Day, you’re likely doing one of two things: Celebrating the success of your present relationship, or ignoring the fact that you aren’t in one. (Both of these are fine positions to be in on a consumer holiday such as this one!) Regardless of where you’re at on the commitment spectrum, a new study has some solid advice for anyone using social media: Don’t “friend” your ex.

Joyce Baptist, a Kansas State University marriage and family therapy associate professor, found that crossing relationship boundaries online can cause serious damage. In a study of nearly 7,000 couples who use social media, Baptist found that for couples in which one or both partners communicated with someone they find physically attractive online, which she labeled “boundary crossing,” the more damage can be done to the relationship.

But before you go trolling your SO’s Facebook account for evidence of shady behavior, the study says there’s a difference between “boundary crossing” and what Baptist calls “boundary violation.”

A crossing is when a partner brushes a proverbial guard rail, possibly by having platonic but frequent contact with another individual he or she finds attractive. Boundary violation, on the other hand, may be emotional or physical infidelity, Baptist says.

Without an honest conversation outlining these “guard rails,” or what both partners feel is or isn’t appropriate behavior online, then someone can easily have their feelings hurt by what their partner does on social media. Furthermore, the study found that while some people accepted that their partner interacted or flirted with an ex online, it didn’t necessarily mean they were cool with it.

“Although they may say, ‘I trust you and it’s OK,’ they are not happy about it,” Baptist said. “They eventually perceive that their significant other is spending too much time connecting with others on social media rather than paying attention to their own partner.”

And that perceived threat may not be so innocent after all. “Keeping lines of communication open with former significant others can become a slippery slope,” the study found, “because relationships naturally have peaks and valleys. During a relationship’s lower points, a person may be tempted to confide in a previous partner.”

So what’s the best way to ensure your partner isn’t harboring some kind of grudge about you liking your ex’s Facebook status? Use your words. Describe what you’re comfortable with rather than what you’ll merely put up with. According to the study, Baptist says “couples ought to share not only what they are willing to tolerate but also what they would prefer so the couple can create a secure and satisfying relationship.”