The Dating App You Probably, Most Definitely, Haven’t Heard Of
Image Source RayaTheApp
Are you a celebrity, Instagram model, professional athlete or uber-wealthy tech star? If you answered no, then you probably haven’t heard of Raya. For someone who likes to think they are in the “social know,” I hadn’t the slightest clue of what this was until I took a trip to L.A. a few weeks ago.
I was sitting at the dinner table when one of my friends professed that said she was “dating” a social media star with a cool 1.5 million Instagram followers. Naturally I asked how she met this guy, and the answer was one word – Raya. Self-described as “an exclusive platform for people in creative industries,” a trip to the app’s website proves very elusive.
With a bare minimum of information on the site, Raya states that it accepts users based on overall Instagram influence, and by the votes of a committee who rate applicants on several factors, of course none of which are shared.
My friend in question, who has 75K Instagram followers herself, explained to me that in order to be accepted she was also referred by three friends AND subjected to a vetting process with no set timeline. She reiterated the app’s exclusivity and mentioned that one of her friends, a Playboy model, can’t even get on it.
So far she’s seen the likes of stars such as Elijah Wood and Patrick Schwarzenegger on there, and has talked to numerous NHL and NFL players. The weekend I visited, she was at a Malibu beachfront party during the day and was at the VIP table of one of Hollywood’s trendiest clubs by night – all through the contacts she met on Raya. The app bans users from taking screenshots of anyone – mostly to protect the identity of its A-list clientele.
Although the app’s been around since last year, it clearly has managed to stay underground and reserved for a carefully cultivated elite crowd. Although my chances of getting on there are slim to none, it sure would save me the hassle of swiping left to every “young professional that lives in Southie,” I see on Hinge. I’ll get back to you when I’m famous Raya, it’s totally cool.
Posted by Anne