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.
Steph Houghton interview: the Manchester derby ‘means absolutely everything to the fans’
Ahead of the Women’s Super League Manchester derby on 11 December, we had the pleasure of speaking to Manchester City captain, Steph Houghton MBE.
The 34-year-old City defender and England international has been a stalwart for the side since 2014 and with the Blues in touching distance of United in the table, manager Gareth Taylor will be looking for a statement performance.
Leading by example, Houghton knows exactly what derby day means for the club and the fans.
Here’s what she had to say ahead of the big fixture.
What does the Manchester derby mean to you?
“It means absolutely everything. I think from the moment I stepped into this club, and even prior to joining, I knew the Manchester derby means absolutely everything to the fans.
“For us as players to pull on the shirt, it’s not just about the game itself, it’s the bragging rights after and just that pride of playing for Manchester and this football club.
“We know it’s going to be an absolutely massive game, the last time we played at the Etihad it was such an amazing occasion. It’s only good when you do win, so for us as players it’s about taking the atmosphere in and knowing that there are going to be a lot more City fans than there is United.
“Hopefully, put on a great performance, get those three points that we need and Manchester will be blue.”
What are your memories of the last derby at the Etihad Stadium in 2019?
“I think for us we obviously knew there were a lot of tickets sold [a WSL record of 31,213, in fact]. We all went over to the stadium a couple of days before to get some familiarity with where we’d be on matchday.
“You then as a player start thinking about what will happen. But then that moment when you’re warming up and the crowd are cheering you and shouting your name, and then the moment when Caz Weir scored, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a noise like it.
“I think when you play in those games it’s about making the most of it. It’s going to be a great occasion, it’s been a long time coming since we played at the Etihad so it’s just about going and enjoying it and embracing it.”
Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw is averaging over a goal a game at the minute, what makes her so special?
“I think for me, in terms of the chances she’s getting at the moment, she just seems to be putting every single one away. When you have strikers in that form you just have to keep on giving her the ball because she will create something.
“You saw against Everton it’s not just her scoring, she’s producing goals for other people as well. In terms of training, to play against her and mark her is so difficult because of that physicality and she’s starting to show that on the pitch now.
“It was her first season last year, so it takes a while for people to get used to how we play but come this second season she’s started so well and let’s hope that continues.”
City also have a 100% home record against United. How much do you think that will play into the result?
“Not just against United, our home record is pretty impressive. When we play at the Academy Stadium but especially against United, we want to win so badly, and I think it’s finding that balance of wanting to win but also sticking to what we do.
“I think over the previous seasons we’ve managed to do that and take the occasion out of it and treat it like a normal game. We have to give United respect, at the moment they’re in great form so, for us, it’s just about concentrating on ourselves and producing a performance we’re all going to be proud of.”
Manchester bar Banyan is serving martini trees, pigs in blankets and cocktail baubles this Christmas
Cocktails in a bauble – have we got your attention now? Because Banyan is pulling out all the stops for us in Manchester this Christmas.
The gorgeous bar brand, which has sites in both Spinningfields and at the Corn Exchange, is delivery festive cheer like never before, with an amazing selection of offers.
First, let’s talk cocktails.
Banyan is already known and loved for its wide selection of boozy concoctions, with 2-for-1 deals aplenty with seemingly endless sweet, sour and fresh to choose from. But now, there’s a whole host of new festive specials to take full advantage of to add to the list.
We’re talking Orange Espresso Martini served by the tree and Bauble Trays full of exciting gin combinations served inside its namesake- both are ideal for sharing this winter.
If you’re looking for a bottomless option, there’s also plenty of scope to taste test the best of Banyan with free-flowing fizz this Christmas. The festive bottomless brunch menu serves up a combination of unlimited Prosecco, Bloody Mary cocktails, Aperol Spritz, Orange Blush Spritz, pints of Coors- and the limited edition Berry Crumble Spritz.
All this booze certainly needs some delicious foodie options to soak it all up, and there’s a mouthwatering festive feast that’ll trump your mum’s turkey dinner any day.
Served to a minimum of eight people at a time, take on a selection of Banyan classics like the Bang Bang chicken skewers and mini versions of the gourmet burgers, or stay true to the seasons with generous helpings of pigs in blankets, all served as a buffet-style dinner. This one’s perfect for Christmas office lunches, festive gatherings with friends or even just a wintry weekend get together with the family.
Naturally, those looking for a feast with their nearest and dearest might want an added level of privacy for a game or to disclose Secret Santa gifts, so Banyan is offering a range of private dining experiences in addition to all of these fantastic food and drink options.
If you love to celebrate the changing of the seasons with a carefully curated menu of festive flavours like brie, bacon or a good old fashioned Christmas pud, there’s also a host of treats awaiting at any of the Banyan restaurants.
Tis the season to make the most of porcini mushroom arancini oozing with cheese and roasted cod with creamy lobster sauce, and there’s plenty to go around. Banyan burgers have also had a festive makeover with a limited edition Christmas burger with all the trimmings, and you can grab one no matter whether you’re a meat-eater, vegetarian or vegan- there’s even a meat-free Festive Beyond Burger with a plant-based ‘pig’ in blanket on the menu.
To book your next visit to Manchester’s worst kept Christmas secret, visit the Banyan Bar website.