What Is Raya? The Invite-Only Celebrity Dating App Explained | #tinder | #pof | romancescams | #scams

Tinder, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel are just a few of the most popular dating apps in the world. Anyone can download and create an account at any time, and the dating pool is diverse in every aspect.

Every now and then, depending on your location and if you’re lucky, you’ll probably encounter someone famous on Tinder. But have you ever wondered where celebrities go if they want to meet and date new people? Nowadays, they can go to Raya, an invite-only dating app.

What Is Raya?

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On its official site, Raya describes itself as an “online membership-based community for dating, networking, and making new friends”.

It was launched in February 2015 by founders Daniel Gendelman and Jesse Johnson, the half-brother of actress Dakota Johnson.

However, Raya is invite-only—and it is this signature feature that separates the app from its competitors.

In order to join, users must be referred to by an existing member. If you are not referred to by someone else but you’d still like to join, you’d have to join a long queue. Anyone who is interested to join Raya must fill out a membership application form, then submit it to be included in a waitlist.

An anonymous committee then decides whether or not you’re in.

Applications reportedly have an approval rate of only 8%, and nobody knows how long the process takes. Some have said it only took weeks for them to join, and others months.

Download: Raya on iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

Features and Functions

In terms of actual features, Raya works similarly to other dating apps. You can match with people, video chat, and send messages.

However, it also has social network aspects such as the ability to share statuses, birthdays, and other posts.

Users are shown photos and a short biography of another person accompanied by music, and they can only start a conversation only when both parties tap ‘like’ on each other’s profile.

Related: What Is Hinge? The Dating App for People Who Hate Dating Apps

Raya shows profiles based on your location. But if you pay a membership fee of $7.99 per month, you will have access to profiles from all around the world.

As part of its vetting process, the application form requires you to enter your location, occupation, industry, and Instagram handle.

Raya’s app policy surrounding privacy means that screenshotting someone’s profile is not allowed, or users risk being removed from the platform. Raya also states that they add and remove members on the app every day.

Who Uses Raya?

Cara Delevigne at San Diego Comic Con 2016
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Raya is built for the rich and famous. So, essentially, if you are a celebrity, an influencer with a large Instagram following, or maybe someone working in a media or entertainment-related industry, you’ll have a higher chance of being approved to join the community.

Users have described the app as Tinder, but for famous people. Those on the app have reported coming across profiles of A-list Hollywood celebrities such as Channing Tatum, Cara Delevigne, and Emma Watson.

Read more: Online Dating Tips If You Want to Stay Happy and Hopeful

However, people have also come across profiles of people who seem to just be on the platform to “flex” their wealth and boost their Instagram followers.

Invite-Only Dating Apps

Raya’s star-studded, high-quality dating pool means that it has to take its invite-only game to another level. If you haven’t noticed already, Raya does not do advertisements on any platform. This is why it has managed to stay relatively unnoticed while Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge continue to garner mainstream coverage.

If you have a referral to Raya, or if you’ve met someone on the platform, congratulations. If you’ve submitted an application, good luck.

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