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.There were plenty of non-famous people, too: artists, models, record-label employees, ad execs, photographers.
The members I interviewed all loved the immersive, impressionistic quality.
(“The music is a great way to tell if someone is basic,” one artist told me over coffee.
As my friend Chloe Mackey, an NYC writer and model, put it: “No one will ever find love on Raya.
It’s about getting an ego boost.” Other users see Raya more positively. A.-based fashion and art producer who’s been on five Raya dates this summer (her old average was once every three months) said of her matches: “They all have their shit together, with respectable jobs.” Plus, “every single person on it is legitimately hot.” The general attractiveness of the Raya member pool might provoke self-consciousness, if the interface didn’t make interactions feel so democratic.
The League, another private dating app, launched last year amid widespread media coverage and $2.1 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. 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.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.One member I interviewed reported spotting Raven Symoné of I matched with the owner of the Paris nightclub I spent the summer of my 19th year strategizing about getting into, and stumbled upon enough up-and-coming DJs/musicians to program a weekend at Mo MA PS1’s Warm Up.A.-based photographer who joined Raya last month and has since deleted the app.