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TL;DR: If you’ve ever wished you could review the guys you date, or the guys you know who would make good dates, like you review restaurants, then Lulu is going to make all of your dreams come true. As the first-ever app for women, Lulu is taking the lead in this sector, helping women make smarter dating decisions and men become better daters.
From Amazon to Yelp, we’re in a world where people love to review things. Everyone can’t wait to share their opinion about their latest meal or the last apartment they lived in, but what about the most recent guy they went on a date with?
Well Lulu is the perfect outlet for doing just that.
Cofounded in 2013 by Alexandra Chong and Alison Schwartz, Lulu is a private social network that gives women the opportunity to rate the men they date, recommend date-worthy guys and share personal experiences with millions of other like-minded women.
Chong and Schwartz got the idea for Lulu after Chong had an unforgettable all-girls brunch experience. From swapping stories about careers to Valentine’s Day plans, she wished she could bottle that feeling of camaraderie and put it to good use.
In 2013, that vision became a reality in the form of Lulu, a space where women can feel safe when discussing their love lives.
Director of Marketing Deborah Singer said it’s been a long time coming for an app like this in the industry, especially with recommendations being so popular in other aspects of life.
“Women today get recommendations about everything in their lives… and yet we don’t get recommendations for something as important as relationships and dates,” she said. “We think that’s an incredibly important area for women to be informed and have information [about] so that they can really make smarter decisions for themselves.”
Whether it’s rating men they’ve gone out with, recommending high-quality guys to other users or making friend connections, Lulu has made a serious impact.
“I think we’re bringing a new information layer to the dating space,” Singer said. “Dating is something that doesn’t have that information layer, and we see ourselves as bringing more information to that industry.”
Lulu stands out from other apps because Chong and Schwartz, as well as everyone on the team, let their personalities shine through, giving off that feeling of talking with a really good girlfriend.
According to Singer, Lulu is especially popular among college women, who are in a new dating environment and are looking for female friends to go to for recommendations about the guys they’re meeting on campus.
Lulu also puts the privacy and safety of its members first. The app uses Facebook to verify gender, age (no one under 17 is allowed to join) and friends circles.
In May, Lulu allowed guys to start using the app if they were interested in being reviewed.
Male users can see their overall score and which hashtags women are using to describe them, like “#AlwaysHappy” or “#WearsEdHardy.”
But they also can access data that shows how women rank them on qualities such as humor, kissing abilities and more.
Lulu’s editorial team even gives guys specialized articles that offer dating advice for the certain areas they need improvement in.
Women also can ask the men their opinions on a variety of topics, including anal sex or making a commitment.
So far more than 1 million men have joined, with an average review being a seven, and some even check the app three times a day.
“We saw that there was a real appetite from guys to kind of get analytics about what women were saying about them,” Singer said. “Our goal is to really help guys improve. Just like you would use Google Analytics on your website to improve it, this is kind of Google Analytics for guys.”
Unlike sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, Lulu does not allow women to write open comments in their reviews.
Women are given multiple choice options when reviewing the men and other women can agree or disagree with the review, which Singer said promotes a positive atmosphere but also keeps the reviews from being unnecessarily mean.
“We’re rating people – we’re rating guys. We know that this is a sensitive and provocative thing to be doing, and we want to do it in a thoughtful way and in a constructive way,” she said. “We heard from the very beginning from girls that they didn’t want to be a part of something mean, so we decided that this format would maintain that environment.”
Lulu will use that same format in the future when expanding to other popular verticals like beauty, travel or business.
“We want to go to a place where women are coming to Lulu and it’s kind of their primary destination for getting information from other women,” Singer said. “We’re really focused on the product and continuing to build ways to help women share even more and get recommendations.”
So if you’re ready to unleash your girl talk, download Lulu (for free!) in the App Store or Google Play.