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The dating scene has evolved thanks to online dating services. People are making quick decisions on who they want to meet based on quick glances and swipes. Some even say it’s fun but many would say it’s stressful.
The dating world is either a candy store or an assortment of picked over goods on Boxing Day. But when you’re over 50 there are many boxes to check off in regards to dating. LUMEN, an app only dating service has recently launched in Canada and caters to the 50+ demographic who are looking for love.
Since launching in the UK in September 2018, the app has over 1.5 million members worldwide. One of the unique features is group chats which help users forge friendships based on mutual interests. With 100% of profiles verified, Lumen strives to prevent fake users and has zero tolerance for age discrimination.
Also, while other mainstream dating apps round anyone over 50 in the category of ‘55+’, Lumen allows users to search more specifically for various ages beyond 50, helping to eradicate feelings of being overlooked and unrecognized.
The app was created by Antoine Argouges, former product manager and Head of Revenue for Badoo and Bumble, and renowned dating industry expert Charly Lester (previously the Dating Editor at the Guardian, and creator of The Dating Awards – industry awards for the online dating industry).
How does it work?
The app is free to join and each member can start six new conversations a day with other users. This feature is designed to prevent spamming and to encourage users to take time and think about who they contact and what they say. Once a message is sent, the recipient has 72 hours to reply to the message and then it disappears from their inbox. By the way, there is a minimum character length for ‘ice-breaker’ messages to encourage more meaningful conversations. Profiles are also more detailed and they require at least three photos.
We had a chance to chat with Charly Lester, co-founder of LUMEN to find out more.
The app has already launched in the UK, what made you decide to extend it to Canada?
I used to live in Canada and so it’s always been high on my list of countries to launch Lumen in. I believe Canadian over 50s are even more youthful and active than British and American over 50s, so our more youthful approach to ‘senior dating’ should hopefully resonate.
Obviously you’ve done research in this particular 50+ demographic. What were three (or more if you want) concerns in the dating scene that you’ve addressed on your app?
- Safety – they are the most scammed demographic and so we have made Lumen as safe as possible. We are the only app to be able to guarantee no catfish because we photo verify every single member.
- People think 50 is far older than it is. So the products which existed before Lumen use images of 70 or 80 year olds and don’t treat over 50s like they use apps. People in their 50s wanted to use the apps designed for millennials, so we’ve made something similar but exclusively for them.
- One of the main reasons we have created a space especially for over 50s is that the people we spoke to felt invisible and ignored on generic dating apps. This is particularly true for women who find men their own age will try to date women up to 20 or even 30 years younger on mainstream apps. On Lumen you know everyone wants to date an over 50.
What would you say is the most appealing feature of your dating app vs others?
Our safety verification – we are the only dating app to photo verify every single member using AI and human moderation. However we have also made changes to the way people communicate to try to improve on peoples’ experiences on other apps and sites. You can only message 6 new people each day – to stop spamming and make people think more about who they contact. You have to use at least 50 characters in your first message to someone – to stop people from just saying ‘hi’ or ‘hey’, and you can turn someone down by clicking ‘Pass’ – which sends a polite let down message so people aren’t passively rejected.
Signing up is free but there’s also a premium membership – when are you seeing people switching over and what are the perks?
The vast majority of our members date fully in the app for free – this is very similar to Tinder and Bumble. Our Premium mode offers extra add-ons such as seeing who likes you and advanced filters such as religion, height and star sign.
Are there dating profile options for non-traditional relationships? LGBTQ friendly?
Yes, the app asks you who you are interested in at the start, and you can choose Men, Women or Both. You will then only see those who have selected to see your gender.
Have any tips for our profile pics? We see that you can upload more than one?
Don’t just use selfies. The best profiles use all 6 photo spaces and have a mix of headshots and full body ones. Photos taken outside with no sunglasses, by someone else, work best. The light is more flattering. Use relatively recent photos, and avoid using filters or frames on the photos.