The League (app)
|Developer(s)||Amanda Bradford (Founder & CEO)|
|Initial release||January 17, 2015|
|Operating system||iOS, Android|
The League is a social and dating mobile application launched in 2015 and available in several cities in the United States on iOS and Android. It is a members-only swiping app aimed at professionals, with acceptance and matches based on LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.
Users connect their LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and then select their preferences for matches, with criteria including gender, age, height, distance, education, religion and ethnicity. Each user is assigned a representative who can answer app-related questions. As with Tinder, users swipe right to indicate interest in a potential match, or swipe left to pass. The League shows users only five potential matches per day. In April 2016, the app released a second version, with members now able to organize events and create groups. In June 2016, the app added a feature for women interested in freezing their eggs.
Each member receives one ticket to bring in a friend, allowing that friend to bypass the application process. Without a ticket, a potential user can sign up for the waiting list. The League scans an applicant's Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to analyze alma maters, degrees, professions, industries, social influence, neighborhood and age. Diversity of applicants is also considered.
As of August 2016, the median age of the users was 28. They are 95% straight, and 99% have a college degree. As of 2017, The League claimed it was accepting approximately 10-20% of users who sign up. In May 2016, the app began allowing people older than 40 to sign up.
Locations and Cities
NYC, San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, London, Philadelphia, Columbus, Atlanta, Miami, Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, Denver, Seattle, Toronto, Sacramento, New Haven, San Antonio, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, Charlotte, Detroit, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Orlando.
Allegations of racism were due to the requirement for the user to declare their ethnicity, and the ability to filter non-white users. However, Bradford said people wanted to know about a person's race, and the ethnicity data is meant to help the site be more inclusive by being diverse.
According to founders of dating apps, including The League, this is because modern dating app algorithms downrank people when left-swiped (passed on), and uprank when right-swiped (approved).
"We did a ton of testing on this screen and these preferences were the most highly requested," she said ... while users can select a preference for the race of partners they'd like to meet, it's not a hard filter. The League shows each user five potential matches each day, and if a user has set his preferences too narrowly, he may be shown matches that don't conform to them, racially or otherwise. ... Bradford insists that the League's policies are meant to make the service more egalitarian, not less -- at least when it comes to race. "The ethnicity data helps us maintain a diverse and balanced community that reflects that of the city (in our case, the San Francisco Bay Area)," she says.
This is because rankings from upvotes and downvotes are used to prioritize people in swipe queues and search results, or even cordon off low ranking members from interacting with high ranking members. Even in millennials (the most accepting generation of interracial couples), less than 15% engage in interracial dating at all, and that is largely within specific races, not indiscriminately across all races (e.g. Asians date whites with much higher frequency than blacks, and "white women think white men are 17% more attractive than the average guy", while the data on multiple dating sites shows "black people and Asian men get short shrift"). Without racial filters for the 95%+ of people who do not date indiscriminately across all races, minorities get massively and unfairly downranked, showing up with artificially low priority in all queues, instead of fair priority in the queues of people who are open to dating them. In effect, not having racial filters systematically discriminates against minorities while racial filters drastically improve minorities' priority in swipe queues, and ultimately match volume.  The League reduces these problems for minorities by including racial filters.
- Georgia Wells, "Dating Apps Court Older, Wealthier Users," Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2016.
- Matt Haber, "The League, a Dating App for Would-Be Power Couples," New York Times, January 23, 2015.
- "Controversial New Dating App Is for Singles with High Standards," ABC News, March 10, 2015.
- Meg Graham, "The League brings invite-only dating app to Chicago," Chicago Tribune, October 26, 2016.
- Maya Kosoff, "We got inside the 'Tinder for elites' – here's what it's like to use," Business Insider, September 15, 2015.
- Anthony Ha, "The League launches a rebuilt, event-centric dating app," TechCrunch, April 28, 2016.
- Erica Fink, Anastasia Anashkina and Maya Dangerfield, "Why this dating app founder is freezing her eggs," CNN, June 21, 2016.
- "Should I Freeze My Eggs?" The Doctors, April 16, 2016.
- Georgia Wells, "'The League' Dating App's Velvet Rope – and How to Get Past It," Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2015.
- Mariya Manzhos, "To use The League, a new dating app, you'll need an invitation," Boston Globe, October 17, 2016.
- Katie Sola, "Dating App Data Reveals What Successful Men And Women Really Want," Forbes, August 24, 2016.
- Anthony Ha, "The League brings its picky dating app to Android," TechCrunch, January 26, 2017.
- Natalie Kitroeff, "This Stanford MBA Thinks Elitists Need Their Own Tinder," Bloomberg Businessweek, September 8, 2014.
- "New elite dating app is racist". January 27, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- "Amanda Bradford and "The league app" ripoff". Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- "Dating app CEO: I'm not an elitist, just an asshole". October 21, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- "New Dating App for 'Elites' Is Far From Race Blind". Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- "Race and Attraction". Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- "Online Dating as a Minority Sucks—Here's How Race-Specific Apps Help". Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "Tinder has a race problem nobody wants to talk about". Retrieved May 14, 2018.