The UK’s first-ever online dating app that requires full biometric ID verification of users to “improve safety and security” by preventing fake profiles, catfishing and romance fraud is now available for Mancunians to download.
Fluttr prides itself on offering a secure platform where people can safely find love, and make new authentic connections.
Having aptly-launched on Valentine’s Day, the platform has been designed as a new kind of dating app and online experience that is said to put real people – whose identities have been verified by full biometric ID verification technology – at the heart as a way of preventing commonly-seen abuses in the online dating world, including false identities, catfishing, and romance fraud brought on by anonymity and a lack of security.
If launching on the international day of love wasn’t appropriate enough as it is, Fluttr has also burst onto the scene amid growing awareness of the importance of online safety in the UK, as the government moves to strengthen laws to stamp out ‘threatening and knowingly false’ content or activities that harm individual users online.
On top of that, the current potential for abuse within the online dating sector has been highlighted in this month’s acclaimed Netflix documentary, The Tinder Swindler – which tells the story of a man who scammed women for millions after matching with them online.
This is why Fluttr is so important.
But, how exactly does it work then? How is Fluttr different to other similar dating apps? And how is it changing the dating game for good?
What is Fluttr?
Fluttr is designed to combat the malignant behaviours proliferating on the internet that are all too evident in the world of online dating.
According to the app’s founders, Fluttr was created out of a vision to transform the landscape of social media and online dating, and give people a positive experience, as well as the safety and control that they deserve when it comes to making new and authentic connections.
How does Fluttr work?
Fluttr is pioneering the use of biometric ID technology to verify every new member from the minute they sign up to the platform.
Ahead of being admitted into what is known as the Fluttr ecosystem to browse or engage with others, every new member must verify their ID with Fluttr’s digital ID verification partner Yoti – a global leader in digital ID services that is already used by companies and organisations such as the NHS, the Post Office, the NUS, and many leading UK retailers.
Yoti’s state-of-the-art technology ensures that all users are providing their correct details, which are verified from their government-issued ID documents.
The final identification of every user is verified so that those using Fluttr can be reassured that the individuals they are meeting on the app are truly who they say they are, which prevents fake profiles created by people to commit abuse, or by companies luring customers into false interactions for fees or commercial marketing purposes.
Why is it so important?
There’s no denying that the growing popularity of online dating apps in the UK over the last decade has led to a sharp rise in romance fraud, with at least one in five people having been the victim of catfishing, according to a 2021 survey by BetMinded.
In the first quarter of 2021, romance fraud cost UK dating app users more than £73.9 million, according to consumer association Which?, and Action Fraud – the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime – also recorded a 40% rise in dating app scams in the same period, as increased numbers of people chose to use online platforms to meet people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Creating “a safe ecosystem” is Fluttr’s top priority.
As well as working to properly verify new members, the app also has a team of content moderators who are tasked with maintaining the safety of the platform by taking down explicit images and removing users engaging in abusive behaviour. Next month, Fluttr will launch its AI content-monitoring feature, harnessing award-winning AI-powered moderation, that detects inappropriate images and language before they leave the sender’s phone to prevent inappropriate content from ever reaching the network.
What makes Fluttr different to other dating apps?
Fluttr’s wants to help reclaim the fun of online dating through a secure and verified environment that empowers users to find “100% real” connections with genuine people on an app where it’s “safe enough to take the risk”.
Once you sign up to the app, you can connect and play games with others on the newly-launched ‘Mystery Fluttr’ interactive feature – which is inspired by the iconic TV show Blind Date, and allows users to play both the roles of the contestant and the potential match.
Fluttr’s founders say they’re planning to release new games every six to eight weeks.
What else are the founders saying?
“While online dating is now the most popular way to meet people, fake profiles, romance fraud and instances of abuse are taking away the fun and thrill of online dating,” admitted Rhonda Alexander – CEO and co-founder of Fluttr.
“We’re on a mission to transform online dating and reclaim its excitement by retaining itsfun and engaging parts while working to make it safer by using biometric ID verification technology that ensures users don’t have to worry about matching with a fake profile.
“As well as protecting users from fake profiles, Fluttr uses AI-powered content monitoring software to prevent unsolicited pictures and abusive language from ever reaching our users’ phones, and fun in-app games to help people connect without using inaccurate matching algorithms.
“We look forward to seeing Fluttr help people across Britain find love by making online dating a safer and more engaging experience for everyone.”
Where can I download Fluttr? And how much does it cost?
As an initial launch offer, all new users registering in February will be given a three-month free trial, as well as the opportunity to enter a prize draw for a case of champagne and a dinner for two at a restaurant of your choice, or a £1,000 shopping voucher to revamp your wardrobe or get your hands on the perfect date night outfit.
New users signing-up in March and April will be offered a discounted monthly subscription of £9.99 until the end of April, when the subscription reverts to its full monthly price of £14.99.
All users registering from May onwards will need to pay the full monthly subscription fee.
Three Little Words and Seven Brothers Brewery are moving into Kampus this summer
This week, Manchester’s waterside neighbourhood Kampus has revealed that two of Manchester’s best-loved indie drinks producers will be moving in over the summer.
Manchester Gin’s bar and distillery Three Little Words will be taking over the infamous bungalow, whilst Ancoats’ favourite Seven Brothers Brewery will temporarily move into the neighbourhood’s red-brick Minshull Warehouse – previously tipped to house a new taproom from Cloudwater.
This summer, the brewery – first founded in Salford nine years ago by the McAvoy brothers – will open the doors to the warehouse serving up their popular family beers alongside a few Kampus specials.
With seating inside and out, once the warmer nights arrive drinkers can once again enjoy the Manchester neighbourhood’s canalside beer garden.
Set to open officially from the long Easter weekend, for the first time tables and chairs will be nestled throughout the giant tree ferns and palms, with visitors able to sample the delights of the impressive foodie community – including Nell’s, Pollen, Great North Pie, The Beeswing wine bar and Yum Cha.
Elsewhere, in the Bungalow popular local gin distillers and cocktail pros Three Little Words will serve up a sleek cocktail menu – all made up from their portfolio of multi-award-winning spirits from The Spirit of Manchester Distillery.
First opened in 2019 by Seb & Jen Heeley-Wiggins, the founders of Manchester Gin, luxurious cocktail bar Three Little Words has since won awards for its signature menu of innovative cocktails.
Both will kick-start on Friday 7 April, with an Easter Weekender of booze, beats and eats in store – with Nell’s Pizza also joined by guest DJs throughout the weekend.
The season is a major moment for Kampus, the first year when the neighbourhood will have a full force of eclectic independent operators fully trading.
More names are set to join too. Red Light will lift the curtain on the insta-friendly Little David Street LGTBQ+ cocktail den, with the opening date to be revealed in the coming weeks, whilst taqueria and mezcaleria Madre is currently fitting out its space ready to bring its take on Mexican goodness to Manchester.
Seb Heeley-Wiggins, Master Distiller & Co-Owner The Spirit of Manchester Distillery & Three Little Words, said: “We’ve got such a loyal following and we’ve been on the hunt for a spot where people could enjoy our cocktails in a beautiful outdoor setting … spritzes in the sunshine.
“Kampus absolutely fits that bill and will be an incredible summer posting for our team. We’ll be bringing our signature menu as well as some seasonal creations unique to Kampus.
“There’s so much going at the neighbourhood that we’ll be in good company. We’ve already got celebrations planned throughout the summer months, where we’ll be collaborating with incredible brands and creatives, and we’ve got a big surprise in store for next month. We just need a long, hot summer now.”
Keith McAvoy, CEO for Seven Brothers, said: “We’ve been big fans of Kampus for a while so we jumped at the chance to put on a summer-long party and create a new beerhouse here. The historic setting is stunning and we know we’ll create, hands down, the best beer garden in Manchester.
“We’re a family run business, born here in Greater Manchester. Our Kampus run is a fitting celebration for how far the brewery has come with the incredible support of every person who’s ever enjoyed a SEVEN BRO7HERS pint.
“We’ll be in good company with our brilliant independent neighbours and encourage everyone to come spend summer with us.”
Seven Brothers will be open Thursday to Sunday every week all summer, whilst Three Little Words will open Wednesday to Sunday.
Featured image – Kampus
Huge line-up revealed for Leeds International Festival of Ideas
The 2023 line-up for Leeds International Festival of Ideas has been released, and it’s all taking place in a brand new venue.
The huge event will bring together some of the most thought-provoking speakers of our time and is well worth the trip across to our neighbouring city.
Taking over the Leeds Playhouse will be a diverse programme and educational discussions, The Hoot reports.
Giving a glimpse of what we’re in store for this year, LIFI has announced the first of its highly-anticipated speakers.
Best-selling author and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax will be bringing her unique brand of humour to the festival as she takes the audience on her journey to address the importance of mental wellness.
The author, performer and activist is excited about joining the festival: “Leeds International Festival of ideas 2023 looks really exciting and I’m thrilled to be part of the line-up this year. I can’t wait to visit Leeds again and take audiences on my journey to mindfulness.”
Steven Bartlett, perhaps most notably known as the podcaster Diary of a CEO, co-Founder of Social Chain, and also as an investor on Dragon’s Den, amongst other business endeavours, will be taking to the stag to share an insight into ‘how he spots the next big thing’.
Bringing an insight into representation and inclusivity in the media, reality TV star and LGBTQ+ activist Bimini, will also be a key speaker at the International Festival of Ideas.
And this is just the beginning.
The four day festival promises to host a programme of panels and keynotes which focus on topics such as grief, political systems, womxn’s health inequalities and self-sufficiency, among others from Wednesday 27 September – Saturday 30 September 2023.
And what better venue than the Leeds Playhouse?
The award-winning cultural hub was recently recognised at the UK Theatre Awards as the Most Welcoming Theatre in 2022. With a mission to seek out the best companies and artists to create inspirational theatre in the heart of Yorkshire, Leeds Internationals Festival of Ideas, will be joining the long list of exciting productions, festivals and events that Leeds Playhouse have hosted over the past 50 years.
Martin Dickson, Leeds International Festival of Ideas has commented: “We are thrilled with the programme we are bringing to the city for LIFI23, built on the outstanding success of last year, we think it is our strongest speaker line-up yet.
“We’re also hugely excited to be presenting the festival at the incredible Leeds Playhouse, on of the most famous theatre venue in the city, a privilege and an honour.
“LIFI23 will once again address some of the most important social issues affecting us all, taking them on over 4 inspirational days across 11 events and shining an outspoken light on Leeds, projecting the city once again as a bold, innovative thought-leading city.”
The full lineups and tickets will be available from Tuesday 4 April but in the meantime those wanting to grab tickets are encouraged to visit the Leeds International Festival of Ideas website to sign up for announcements and ticket updates.