When Lulu launched over two years ago, its approach to mobile dating raised more than a few eyebrows.
Instead of connecting girls with eligible dudes nearby, the app let them share anonymous reviews of men they knew, complete with hashtags like "#Life Of The Party," "#Tall Dark And Handsome" and "#Plays Digeridoo." Some loved it. Still others wondered what the service could mean for the future of dating.
The new, neutered Lulu pegs itself as a "fresh way to meet new people," letting users see others they've crossed paths with while traipsing around in the real world.
One thing becomes obvious after even the briefest moment spent poking around in either the app or the new Lulu website, though: they're both carbon copies of UK dating app/site Badoo.
may not be as "cool" as Happy Pancake or Tinder but it’s one of the oldest and most well-established dating sites in Sweden (it arrived in the Nordic countries in 2002.) There are plenty of foreigners here alongside Swedes and it's one of the biggest ponds in the Swedish net-dating landscape – though you do need to be aware of fake fish, as scam accounts are common. You can try out a free version but in order to use the best functions you’ll need to fork out some cash.
Fed up with casual hook-ups and looking to settle down?
It might not be scientifically accurate but as one reviewer expressed it: “there’s nothing like the thrill of getting a message from a 97 percent match”. Despite the English name it is in fact one of the most popular dating sites in Sweden for Swedes, with over 230,000 active members. Through the site’s search function you can search for people with the same interests as you, as well as criteria such as height and age.
Unlike some of the bigger international dating sites you'll need Swedish to use this one.
The answer: apparently not much, because Lulu as we knew it is dead.
A few days ago, the company quietly replaced its original app with a new version that cut out all of those juicy reviews in favor of a more generic -- and The updated software is live in both Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store, but its existing website still refers to the old, review-heavy version.
In fact, Lulu didn't even take the time to scrub the Badoo logos off the images plastered on their "new" site: Now, before anyone cries foul (or copyright infringement), know that Badoo has a white-label program that allows other companies to build services on top of its sizeable social network, and those companies seem to be able to just swap out logos if they feel like it. Consider Blendr, the app often referred to as Grindr's counterpart for straight people. And remember Hot or Not, one of the best/worst ways to waste time in the early 2000s?
It's We've reached out to both Lulu and Badoo in hopes of clearing up the exact nature of their relationship, but neither responded yet (and we're pretty sure it's a white-label deal anyway).
At the very least, New Lulu/Badoo pays a little lip service to the idea of dating intelligence by showing off a ratio of how many times a person has been liked versus disliked.