Amanda Bradford, founder of the League, continues our conversation about the inner workings of the app. We hear about your league score, how to get off the long waiting list, and what happened when Amanda created a profile in both NY and SF.
S2E13 A league of her own Part 2
00:00:00 - 00:05:03
The Dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that the Huffington post calls one of the top ten podcast about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about. From sex parties to sex droughts, date fails a diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host Yue Xu, former dating coach turned dating sociologists. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Krafchick as we explored this crazy dateable world.
And i move so i loves. We are excited. You've join us for an older episode. While our earlier seasons were all about dating in san francisco we quickly realize all the themes. Learnings are universal for all daters so we shifted to covering dating from all around the world as the seasons. Progress to the fun part. Is things happen. I san francisco the tech epicenter and counterculture capital of the world. We love for you to keep tuning in to our older episodes. But there's no set order to listen in so feel free to jump to more. Recent seasons are relevant episodes for you. Enjoy the show. The dateable podcast is hosted by you. A that's me and my co host. Michael vargas michael's dating coach who holds a masters in clinical psychology. And i a former dating coach in new york and now an active data in san francisco. This episode of dateable is brought to you by five hundred brunches. Five hundred brunches connects like minded people with similar interests to meet in real life over brunch. You answer a questionnaire about your interest and how you spend your time and then they'll match you. In small groups of six to eight at a brunch spot in san francisco get a free entry into a brench now. By signing up at five hundred branches dot com and using the code date able on the last episode we hung out with. Amanda bradford ceo and founder of the league dating app and we were able to get a glimpse into her dating life when as soon as we will match at me they start assuming that i think looking at all their data if i have a the time and be the interests he had like a really hard time dealing with the fact that was like the roi. Uncooking is not there for us especially as one person even when there's two there's some of the issues that you were still facing here in a little bit of like everyone's pretty selfish myself included. Well that's the big argument doesn't albany to beta like if you look at comments on my article like a ton of them were like girl. You need a beta male like calming on this episode. We continue our conversation with amanda more specifically about the inner workings of the league app itself. What is it like writing your own dating up. It's super weird. Everything like ten years ago. Did you ever think. I'm gonna. I'm gonna start my own dating up. No and i think the people that are in that industry are crazy and they are they are. I mean it's actually the online dating. In general. Not now i like to say it's we're in a new era Like post arab. The pretender era online dating sites were literally not far on the spectrum from porn sites like they had a different skin. They you know they talked about dating instead of like naked girls but like lots of them shared the same backend infrastructure. A lot of them were owned by the same companies a lot of them moved users back and forth like guys that were horny would go to dating site and then you could get kind of funneled into these like naked girls chatting free live stuff so it's like a. It's a ski z. The industry so that was again one of the reasons why i want to kind of create the site classy place. That's very separated from that and even some of the dating apps today that we're using that all my friends using i'm like that is literally a fake profile like please believe me and know there's hotter hotter profiles on this app. Amanda i won't say the name. But i'm like no that is that is like dirty underbelly of this industry. They are feeding you hot profiles from all over the world because they want you to think that this app is full of like gorgeous supermodels or so anyway. I get frustrated because the the is just not really known for having like kind of a ton of ethics and standards And silicon valley doesn't really like dating space gets very. It was very hard to raise funding for dating sites. It's you know. There hasn't been a ton of really successful exits. I think partially because people go after the quick buck of like. Oh horny men. Let me like see how much money i can. Extract from horny men and so they all ended up being like lifestyle businesses that are like between five and ten million dollars in revenue and most people just kind of cash out. And so it's it's a very crazy space. And i cannot believe we're in it now and i got on a panel that was called like the vice industry and i was like. Oh my god. My parents must be so proud of their daughter who is forging ahead in the vice industries like me drugs sex like i can't be gambling startup so it was like we were all bucket it together into this. Say you guarantee that all the profiles on the league art are true at the extent of.
00:05:03 - 00:10:01
Yeah even giving you like less than great matches sometimes but yeah we don't. We've never made a fake profile. And we actually kicked people out that are active. So it's you know we make sure everybody has linked in facebook. Facebook friends their names match their schools. Match i mean it's pretty hard to kind of fake all that stuff and then if people are sketchy we kick them out so we kind of keep a. We spent a lot of time and money and resources on our concierge system. That's enforcing quality and girls. Even girls complaining about like getting stood up from a date or having a guy asked him for sex on a first date. Like we'll we'll kick people off for that and so it's it's been interesting to see kind of the the issues that come up like i mean one example was guy who's poly-amorous right. I mean his profile kept getting flagged over again because it said hey. I'm in an open relationship. And i'm looking for someone and so we had like a huge company debate around like do we people out for being poly amorous but we got you know. They got over ten flags. Typically we kick out three flags and so he was really upset and we just things. I would have never thought that i had to deal with like one woman went on a date with a guy that was freshly divorced but it wasn't official yet so they were still like married and he didn't tell her that and then he told her on the date and she got any also told her he wasn't ready to like get into serious relationship because he was out of like twelve year marriage and then she got upset because she felt let on and she asked for him to get kicked out. And so we again. We had a company meeting around. Like what should our policy be on. Kind of misleading people. Before you know before a date and so it's just it's interesting because we are so white glove and almost to a fault in some ways because then we get we get into like playing a little bit of big brother and defining like community standards and guidelines and like how should people date nowadays and what were the decisions on those two. We decided that like we're still going to keep up with like if the crowd is voting. Like that someone's profile needs to be removed over and over again. Like i think regardless of of what they say like that. So you know we want. We need to do it in but the best for the community. It's interesting because we do have the power to like not do that. And so it is weird to like have that power of like should we keep you know him in the community and should we be open minded and progressive and And it's not necessarily like what i believe. I guess it's just sort of like we need to kind of work with our users that are you know we're we're gonna be supported by our users right ultimately they're going to be ones hopefully paying us at some point so we need to do what's in the best interest of of the eighty percent case So for that we decided that and then for the kicking people out. It's tough. I mean i think for that when we actually didn't kick him out we give him a warning being like you need to let people know before you meet them that you're not interested in a relationship and you're still married but you're separated and make sure you're like really clear about that so we just we give a lot of coaching pa. What has been some really good wins for you guys or something that you really excited about or really proud that the Apple has done. I mean we have a ton of marriages which is crazy. Because he'd been around a year. And i'm like i haven't even dated one god for year much much less. Say kay married after your blows my mind but yeah and a lot of people it was like their one of their first or second league dates which i guess kind of sucks because now he lost to users right away without getting any money from them So i was like guys weaned monetization in sap. Yeah i haven't been invited to any which. I was kinda bummed out. It was like dude. I'm like your matchmaker just behind. An app doesn't mean. I'm not like your. What is the jewish word for matchmaker. Yeah i'm there you answer. How many marriages. I've gotten text about from about eight people and so i can't imagine i imagine it must be like three x the people that i know right. These are people who've met and data for less than a year. We're getting married older thirties or young thirties. That's an interesting statistic. I really we haven't it too well so it's all anecdotal and i also don't wanna like super publicize i really don't want to be like the harmony where you like. Join the league to get married because that freaks me out but i think it's a mindset. I think that speaks to the mindset of people who are on the more serious and they're taking dating seriously and if they find someone that works like they're they're ready. You know learned anything culture and other cities that you don't move to new york as a woman don't do it. I was like. I'm doing literally. So i have a two profiles of mandy. Who's new york and amanda who san francisco and mandy. You know. I actually think man. He's pretty cute is a little cuter than amanda. Because she you know she shows a little more skin like her. Hair's down a little bit more like little more flirty photos and it is crazy like the new york guys are super picky. Or there's just a ton of beautiful woman.
00:10:01 - 00:15:00
Probably both i mean i think they're probably related but Yeah my score like my league score is about like ten percent different so with ten percent. More people like me in san francisco than in new york with like pretty much the same. You think more people do hear them there. Yeah i mean it could be that. But i don't think i looked at it like back in new york because if you look at the new york lake averages the average female is just like much higher performing an average female in san francisco and the guys are much more picky. So if you look at their pickiness score. They reject a lot more people in new york. It's the league score in the picking a squad. These publicized for these are internal their internal like we let you sort by like flaking s and by like most popular. So it's like it's essentially like your yes fits like how many people have seen you that swipe right but only you guys know this Yeah i mean we part of our like internal. I mean it's a big part of algorithm so we have to see it when we're kind of debugging stuff they. Yeah so it's like literally ten percent more. I have a ten percent lift and san francisco then in new york. We're just crazy for like the same photo. So i don't know and then there's a lot more just there's more women than men in new york and it seems like a lot of complaints about guys being like. Oh i thought we were going to sleep with each other on this date. Like being assholes are all from new york like almost all our douchebag dudes that we either kick out or trying to like hook up really obviously like. Let's meet up at one. Am like what sizes your bra. Like that kind of stuff all from off from new york. So as the ladies of san francisco do not be discouraged. He's faithful. we have a nicer gentleman. Here i do find men in san francisco more respectful of women for sure and i mean literally if you just look out like the people i kinda wanna do a blog post about the people. We've kicked out of the league. But i do a little bit of public hanging probably get sued but it's literally like oh it's all new york like almost all of the guys. I mean a couple in san francisco but they probably came from new york. I want to talk about your waiting list. Okay this is like the ultimate mystery. I mean when. I first signed up for the league. I was like sixteen thousand three hundred and fifty second. You know place whose person gets to decide who gets it. So it's actually like pretty convoluted process It's a variety of stuff. So we look at like there's like a bunch of think of it as a funnel right so there's a bunch of things you need to have to even get into the funnel so one is like six photos so like people like sometimes import facebook photos. That don't have six like they're kind of in purgatory like we don't even put them in the funnel. And then if you don't have your information filled out and so then once you're in a funnel we have like a prioritization algorithm and then. I have girls that go through a make sure. The photos are like respectful high quality. Like you can see their face. No sunglasses like we try to. We try to kind of send them. And then they get an automated email if their photos like not up to snuff so they can fix them. We try to give everyone opportunity to like kind of put their pro make their profile league where that we call it but the idea is like you know it's almost like a college admissions like you spend so much time on your college. Admissions like take a little bit of time and you're dating profile. Like put a tiny bit of like two minutes into it and don't like import a photo of you doing a keg stand from college when you're like twenty seven and yeah i mean only like guys that have. Their first photo is like two girls in bikinis next said With their like shirt. There's nothing wrong with that. We're just saying we're having a fun time at the but it's a little bit of like the first impression of the app. I mean we think of it as like imagine. Everyone's a brand new user. If that's the first person they get in their feet and we've of promised them this sort of you know more upscale more serious that are interested in dating showing a guy like crushing burana his head as you're a first person you senior feed like that's not a good experience. See i mean that's a big thing and then we try to look at the your friends that are referred you try to give priority to our members so it's a lot of little factors like every profile gets reviewed every profile. At least their first photo gets reviewed by human. Yeah that's a lot of work. Yeah we have a system. That's pretty. I mean you can kind of tender it if you will. So it's like you can scroll through and see you know it's usually like picking the ones that have bad photos. China email them. So yeah i mean we we could automate and we probably will put technology in so we're not like oh yeah sunglasses because that's just so we're working on and that waiting lists is real. Is that number real or is it just to really like intimidate people. That's i mean. It's i guess it's a little bit misleading in the sense that we changed it now because we got some feedback on it. So now it tells you like your san francisco waitlist and then like global weightless. It's not like all those people. Were like in san francisco in line ahead of you so kind of sound.
00:15:00 - 00:20:03
Maybe maybe we should have captured ambiguous. It sounds even crazier. But i really liked 'cause i've recently on and i'm thinking i really like about it. Is that you you mentioned. The student kick people out there inactive have seen the concierge stress light. But you're about to women messages. Like i think that is a huge issue online dating. It's like there's so much fatigue. But no-one messages. I think it's gotten worse too. I don't know if it's our new upgrade or web. We've gotten more complaints around. You know honestly i think it's where we are encouraging girls to message i and there's other apps out there that now let the girl message. I and i think i don't know guys are getting lazy or something but it is Yeah i feel like the guys response rate has gone down which is weird. I think it's honestly like a combination of like timing like. I don't mess back a lot. Like if i know i'm going to be out of town or i'm just like man on into dating right now. Like check these apps. But you're not really like in it. And i mean i'm i'm like that too and so it's hard for us to like that because i am checking it every day so i wouldn't have like a bad score but then i don't respond to people and so then my flaky score goes up but that's you know i get deeper ties a little bit in the algorithm but for the most part it doesn't guys don't know not to message me right so i think it's hard it's hard because it's hard to know where people are in kind of like how serious you are about dating so i think it is and it's really hard to kind of put that into the algorithm that kind of like intent and how you quantify that because i don't think most people don't know their intent anyway and i think also people have like fomo in the sense for like they want to go. They go on the app and they like people because they've kinda wanna see what's out there but you don't necessarily want to like you don't wanna miss out but you don't necessarily want to start anything because it is a it is there is activation effort involved. I mean i'll be first. Admit like there's some great guys that like wanna meet for drinks. I'm like the amount of efforts like kind of put book that into my schedule. Like get off your couch when you're watching house of cards or whatever it is and like you do have to really want it or want to be engaged in that and so i do think it's just tough. It's timing it's trying to align everyone's timing and it's something we haven't. I don't think anyone's really figured out yet. So i really like the fact that it's a little bit of effort because like you were saying earlier or early At one point where it's so interesting. When people have different levels of efforts going into the relationship so here there has to be with a little bit more effort. Put in which i think would would be a better indicator for a relationship working out for sure. Yeah i mean people are getting off their couch and meeting for coffee like that's a huge first step in then that's like the really the the hurdle that we're trying to to overcome. Have you guys thought about eventually. Publicizing your weakness score we have. I actually had it on the roadmap. But i took it off because i think we want to. We want to think about how to build that into whether it's monetization or some sort of feature that helps improve that person's overall kind of like profile so there's flaky whether it's a league score whether it's how picky they are. I mean not is like a whole really interesting topic if you look at how picky users are and then you also look at their score and you're like the math doesn't work if you're rejecting ninety nine people and also ninety nine percent of people rejecting you like then you complain to us about not getting matches like it's like do the math but they don't see all those numbers Two things. I have two questions ask you and we're going to wrap this up. One is what are you ultimately looking for marriage. I want to guy a funny guy. I feel like. I've never dated a funny guy and it's on my bucket list. You've never dated a funny over like a guy like funnier than me. That's funny funny. Guys have been disappearing. I don't know what's going on. But it is very rare that i mean a guy that is like laugh out loud funny. A little tip is a thing called improv. yes michael's all about. How do you michael vargas. I updated my league profile with like that. I was like i'm looking for someone. Funnier than me. Okay but are you avoiding my question. Are you looking for marriage. I mean i grew up with you know my parents are married for whatever i fifty years now and i do think you know i want to have kids. I think you wanna raise kids with two people. Raising a kid is better than one person. In general they have two loving parents. That i do think Yeah eventually i do. But i'm also not looking to like accelerate that artificially just because of like age or because everyone around me is posting engagement photos or anything like that. So i'm i'm very much about like the right person versus the right time okay. What are some tricks. People need to keep in mind when a if they want to be successful in the league.
00:20:04 - 00:25:06
Oh i have a lot of tricks. I think the first one is like the open minded because the more people you have like in are open to the more people that see you so you kind of your profile gets seen by more people and we do kind of reward people that log in every day and aren't like super super picky because we don't want to reward the picky people so so i think that's one thing to keep in mind. I also think like the first photo really is unfortunately. Like i'd love to say it's like all your interest and your about me and i think that stuff does matter more in the league than other apps but you know no matter. How much like that. First photo is the first impression and so like i said when it's you doing a keg stand as your first photo like you're probably not going to get as many likes as like one with your grandma or one with your dog and stuff and so You know we have actually seen like dog photos. Photos do really well Professional photos you really well for guys. Yeah i think. I think it shows that they're putting effort into like the whole system and i think for women it shows that like you might not just be about like a one night stand because he has these like photos that he's trying to present himself and so i i think it's probably more psychological reason to that but we have seen professional photos. Do much better than like blurry. Facebook once What other tips i think. Yeah not doing group shots Because especially i always say. Don't do group shots when you have a friend that's more attractive than you ever. You would think that's a given now people all the times. Do it with some like supermodel friend. And then you're like. Why are you doing that. Like everyone is just gets disappointed. And then i think some other tips are yeah. I mean i think messaging. I like we do see the study just came out. I think from new york times women that message. i do better on online dating Yeah you guys should google at. It's it's just it. It is because it's like the guys are so used to getting rejected and ghosted. And all that that like when a woman reaches out they're like. Oh wow this is great. This is probably gonna. We could meet up for coffee. And so they'll put more time into that match than messaging all their other women that they have in their queue. Right so So i always encourage my girlfriend's to message like pick your top three favorite guys in your match kyun message. I'm like why not What about getting off the waitlist if you haven't vip ticket so we give everyone in the league. One pass to give a friend so that bumps up a law that gets you in a lot faster And then the other stuff is just like the profile filled out so if it's a blank profile or you don't have anything listed on your linked in like there's a lot of people that just like didn't counts the sake of signing up and then they don't say anything about what they do or their education or they don't have any interest so they're kind of like call them like ghost profiles and like who. Are you trying to a lot of. It is like backlog on us. So we're trying to optimize on the operation so that people aren't waiting so long but we had a lot of technical debt to get out of so it's not you. It's us future plans that you have to leak so we have a lot of plans. I think i think for me. Like one of the big features. I want to build is kind of for the anti online daters so the law a lot of people like just don't really like this kind of stiff meeting for coffee or drinks in the whole one on one like you're kind of on an interview the whole thing is stilted and very transactional and i. I'm personally. I think it's sufficient or whatever but a lot of people are like. It's not romantic. There's like no serendipity and so we're really trying to bring in like the off line component into the apps. Oh another good examples. They don't ever have events for lgbt. And we always get a lot of flack for that. Let's create like let's have people that are kind of our captains that can start these events and we can enable them or give them funding or whatever it may be said that our members can can kinda like because then you're meeting like ten twenty people in one hour whereas you could be meeting one bag for one hour so it's actually more efficient use of your time if you can get everyone to like go to an event or a concert or whatever might be music in the park. I we're going to wrap this up you guys don't forget to submit your stories and You can always remain anonymous. We don't have to use your real name anybody's real name. You can be anybody you want. Thanks so much for being here and thank you. Amanda superfund michael rapid up dateable. The most efficient way to meet new people is a combination of online. And offline five hundred. Wrenches has your offline covered connect over brunch with new friends. Come alone or bring a buddy. There's always a table full of friendly faces. Mamas and eggs benedict sign up at five hundred branches dot com and use the code date able for free entry to connect with us visit date apple.
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