The legislation was criticized by civil rights groups and political opponents, who intend to challenge its constitutionality.
Meet Feels, a new French startup that wants to change how dating apps work. According to the company, scrolling through photos and reading descriptions tend to be a boring experience. Feels want to improve profiles so that navigating the app feels more like watching TikTok videos or browsing stories.
“For the past 10 years, there’s been little innovation in the industry,” co-founder and CEO Daniel Cheaib told me. “The reason why many people uninstall dating apps is that it’s boring. Profiles all look the same and we feel like we’re browsing a catalog.”
In that case, Cheaib is thinking about Tinder, but also other dating apps that feel like Tinder but aren’t exactly Tinder, such as Bumble, Happn, etc.
Feels’ founding team has spent two years iterating on the app to find out what works and what doesn’t. Now that retention metrics are where they’re supposed to be, the company is now ready to launch more widely.
If you want to show interesting content to your users in a dating app, you have to rethink profiles. Arguably, this has been the most difficult part of the development phase. When you install the app, it takes around 15 minutes to create your profile.
At first, only 30% of new users finished the onboarding process. Now, around 75% of new users reach the end of the signup flow.
So what makes a profile on Feels different? In many ways, a profile looks more like a story, or TikTok posts. Users can record videos, add text and stickers, share photos, answer questions and more.
“When you’re done with the onboarding process, you have consistent profiles with people sharing content about them,” Cheaib said.
Like other dating apps, there are many options when it comes to gender identity — you’re not limited to woman or man. You can then say that you want to see all profiles or just some profiles based on various criteria.
After that, you can look at other profiles. Once again, Feels tries to change the basic interaction of dating apps. Most dating apps require you to swipe left or right, or give a thumbs up or a thumbs down. When you think about it, it’s a binary choice that requires a ton of micro decisions.
Sometimes, you don’t have any strong feelings about someone. Or maybe you just want to go to the next profile. And the fact that you have to triage profiles like this leads to a lot negativity, whether it’s conscious or subconscious — you keep rejecting people, after all.
When you’re looking at a profile on Feels, it fills up your entire screen. Videos start playing, you can see what the person likes and who they are in front of a camera. You can react on some content or you can simply move on by swiping up. There’s no heart or like button.
When the startup thought they finally were going somewhere, they raised a $1.3 million funding round (€1.1 million) from a long list of business angels, such as somebody in Atomico’s business angel program, Blaise Matuidi, Eric Besson, René Ricol, Ricardo Pereira , Yohan Benalouane, Nampalys Mendy, Jean Romain Lhomme, Julien Radic and Jean Michel Chami.
Now, Feels plans to attract new users with organic TikTok posts, some TV ads and more. The company wants to reach one million users by the end of the year with a big focus on France for now. There are 100,000 users right now.
When it comes to monetization, Feels started offering a premium subscription to unlock more features. The company is still iterating on that part.
Feels is just getting started in a crowded and competitive industry. Unlike other companies, Feels has invested heavily in its own product before working on user acquisition and paid installs. It’s an ambitious strategy but it has a lot of potential as it could lead to a truly different dating app.
It wasn’t all sweats and leggings. A whirlwind tour of how the pandemic affected what we wore, from India to Italy.
Born in the Paris suburbs, the singer has made waves with two albums that draw as much from ’60s chanson as contemporary hip-hop.
France’s winegrowers had already been hit by higher U.S. taxes and the pandemic. Now they are dealing with a “violent” cold snap.
On Sunday, the French National Assembly voted to ban some short-haul flights in favor of train travel. If the measure is formally approved, it would mean the end to domestic flights on routes where the journey could also be completed by train in 2.5 hours or less.
It’s the kind of news that will have some cheering in delight as one of the world’s richest nations makes a strong statement about the need to cut carbon emissions. However, there will probably be less impact than you might first expect. For one thing, connecting flights won’t be affected, so international travelers won’t have to worry about having to navigate the train system from Charles De Gaulle International airport.
In fact, French lawmakers are only proposing to cancel five routes in total. Yes, just five: Paris Orly to Bordeaux, Paris Orly to Lyon, Paris Orly to Nantes, Paris Orly to Rennes, and Lyon to Marseille. And while France has a high-speed train network that we in America can only look at with envy, the French government is just as happy to provide state support for its airlines as trains—last week it announced it would invest $4.8 billion (€4 billion) in Air France to help that airline as it weathers the pandemic.
The Louvre inspected the “Salvator Mundi” and certified it as the work of Leonardo da Vinci. But it kept those findings secret after a squabble with the painting’s owners.
The institution had become a symbol of privilege in a society where social mobility has broken down.
Performing-arts protesters locked out by the pandemic have occupied playhouses across France, but drama is not allowed. Cue the “agoras.”
Since the start of the year, well-known men from diverse fields have been accused of sexual abuse and placed under investigation.
A television channel said the dinner parties were being held in defiance of coronavirus restrictions. One organizer initially said that government ministers had participated, setting off outrage online.
In a case riveting national attention, Ikea France is charged with violating privacy rights by surveilling unions, employees and customers.
As some people start to shake off coronavirus precautions, those who are waiting their turn for a vaccine say the FOMO is real. “It’s like when every friend is getting engaged before you.”
To its critics, the 114-year-old Unef is the incarnation of the American-inspired ideas that threaten France’s founding principles. Its leaders say it is the future.
With coronavirus infections soaring, deaths nearing 100,000 and the vaccine rollout sputtering, frustrated French people feel they’re right back where they started.
The country’s principle of secularism has long disadvantaged Muslim communities, experts say, and President Emmanuel Macron’s new law against Islamism could deepen the disparities.
A 117-year-old nun in France made me think it might be.
The French Army says it killed terrorists in Mali, with no collateral damage. A new United Nations report says almost all of the dead were civilians.
After a decade of traumatic attacks that killed nearly 300 people and wounded almost 1,000, the project aims to build a memorial to help heal the country’s wounds.
Google is announcing a handful of major updates to Google Maps today that range from bringing its Live View AR directions indoors to adding weather data to its maps, but the most tantalizing news — which in typical Google fashion doesn’t have an ETA just yet — is that Google plans to bring a vastly improved 3D layer to Google maps.
Using photogrammetry, the same technology that also allows Microsoft’s Flight Simulator to render large swaths of the world in detail, Google is also building a model of the world for its Maps service.
“We’re going to continue to improve that technology that helps us fuse together the billions of aerials, StreetView and satellite images that we have to really help us move from that flat 2D map to a more accurate 3D model than we’ve ever had. And be able to do that more quickly. And to bring more detail to it than we’ve ever been able to do before,” Dane Glasgow, Google’s VP for Geo Product Experience, said in a press event ahead of today’s announcement. He noted that this 3D layer will allow the company to visualize all its data in new and interesting ways.
How exactly this will play out in reality remains to be seen, but Glasgow showed off a new 3D route preview, for example, with all of the typically mapping data overlayed on top of the 3D map.
Glasgow also noted that this technology will allow Google to parse out small features like stoplights and building addresses, which in turn will result in better directions.
“We also think that the 3D imagery will allow us to visualize a lot of new information and data overlaid on top, you know, everything from helpful information like traffic or accidents, transit delays, crowdedness — there’s lots of potential here to bring new information,” he explained.
As for the more immediate future, Google announced a handful of new features today that are all going to roll out in the coming months. Indoor Live View is the flashiest of these. Google’s existing AR Live View walking directions currently only work outdoors, but thanks to some advances in its technology to recognize where exactly you are (even without a good GPS signal), the company is now able to bring this indoors. This feature is already live in some malls in the U.S. in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle, but in the coming months, it’ll come to select airports, malls and transit stations in Tokyo and Zurich as well (just in time for vaccines to arrive and travel to — maybe — rebound). Because Google is able to locate you by comparing the images around you to its database, it can also tell what floor you are on and hence guide you to your gate at the Zurich airport, for example (though in my experience, there are few places with better signage than airports…).
Also new are layers for weather data (but not weather radar) and air quality in Google Maps. The weather layer will be available globally on Android and iOS in the coming months, with the air quality layer only launching for Australia, India and the U.S. at first.
Talking about air quality, Google Maps will also get a new eco-friendly routing option that lets you pick the driving route that produces the least CO2 (coming to Android and iOS later this year), and it will finally feature support for low emission zones, a feature of many a European City. Low emission zones on Google Maps will launch in June in Germany, France, Spain and the UK on Android and iOS. More countries will follow later.
And to bring this all together, Google will update its directions interface to show you all of the possible modes of transportations and routing options, prioritized based on your own preferences, as well as based on what’s popular in the city you are in (think he subway in NYC or bike-sharing in Portland).
Also new are more integrated options for curbside grocery pickups in partnership with Instacart and Albertsons, if that’s your thing.
And there you have it. As is so often the case with Google’s announcement, the most exciting new features the company showed off don’t have an ETA and may never launch, but until then you can hold yourself over by getting your weather forecasts on Google Maps.
He was a regular on the world’s film festival circuit with movies like “Death Watch,” a science-fiction thriller, and “’Round Midnight,” about a jazz musician.
The president has epic plans to shift our system and our values.
The 40-year-old competed for France in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and at the Turin Games in 2006.
Although there were no deaths, the case had echoes of a smuggling episode in the country in 2019, in which 39 people from Vietnam died in a refrigerated tractor-trailer.
Institutions in France should pay more attention to their country’s history of slavery instead of honoring an icon of white supremacy.
Arts workers are protesting closings and occupying playhouses all over France. On Broadway, that drama has yet to open.
Apple has fended off an attempt by advertisers in France to use a competition complaint route to derail incoming pro-privacy changes in iOS that will require third party apps to obtain users’ consent before they can track them.
The French competition authority (FCA) said today it has rejected calls by IAB France, MMAF, SRI and UDECAM for it to intervene pre-emptively and block Apple’s move, saying it does not currently consider the introduction of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature to be an abuse of a dominant position.
However the regulator said it is continuing to investigate Apple “on the merits” — specifying it will be looking to ensure the tech giant is not applying less restrictive rules for its own apps vs third party developers (aka ‘self preferencing’).
Per Reuters, the competition authority worked closely with France’s privacy watchdog, CNIL, to reject the request to suspend ATT.
The CNIL has been contacted for comment.
An Apple spokesperson told us:
“We’re grateful to the French Competition Authority for recognizing that App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 is in the best interest of French iOS users. ATT will provide a powerful user privacy benefit by requiring developers to ask users’ permission before sharing their data with other companies for the purposes of advertising, or with data brokers. We firmly believe that users’ data belongs to them, and that they should control when that data is shared, and with whom. We look forward to further engagement with the FCA on this critical matter of user privacy and competition.”
Back in January Apple said the ATT would be applied to iOS in early spring.
Since then a complaint by a French startup lobby, France Digitale, has also been filed with the country’s privacy watchdog — accusing Apple of privacy hypocrisy.
That complaint similarly invoked competition concerns — contrasting the incoming ATT requirement for third party apps to gain consent before tracking iOS users to default iOS setting for Apple’s own apps that the complaint said allow tracking. However Apple called the allegations “patently false”, saying ATT will be “equally applicable to all developers including Apple”.
The ATT switch in iOS is certainly wildly unpopular with adtech companies like Facebook, who claim it will harm developers’ ability to monetize their apps. Facebook has also conceded Apple’s move will significantly dent its own revenues.
Apple, meanwhile, has accused the adtech industry of hysteria and false claims — and continued to denounce the “data-industrial complex” for creeping on Internet users to exploit their personal data and try to manipulate people for profit.
While it’s also true that Apple can serve personalized advertising to iOS users of its own apps it argues that it holds itself to “a higher standard” than the adtech data industrial complex because it lets users opt out of what it calls its “limited first-party data use for personalized advertising” — claiming that feature “makes us unique”.
In a similar recent development involving Google, a competition complaint was filed late last year in the UK in an attempt to block changes it intends to make to how users of its Chrome browser can be tracked by third parties.
Google’s so-called ‘Privacy Sandbox‘ plan is also wildly unpopular with advertisers — who accuse the tech giant of abusing a dominant position by shutting down their ability to track users while continuing to do so itself.
Simultaneously, multiple efforts are underway across the adtech industry to devise alternative means of tracking web users’ activity — accelerating by the prospect of Chrome, the dominant browser by marketshare, depreciating support for third party trackers.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority announced in January it’s investigating suspected breaches of competition law by Google following a number of complaints about Privacy Sandbox.
That probe continues.
The academic and historian Pap Ndiaye wants to turn around an institution with a problematic legacy so it tells the story of France’s immigrants.
The bill, which characterizes sex between adults and minors under 15 as rape, was adopted by the National Assembly after a series of sexual abuse scandals and may become law by April.
Once it became clear Germany was pausing, the pressure mounted on other governments to hold off as well, out of fear of seeming incautious and for the sake of a united front.
In France and across Europe, more students are facing food insecurity as the pandemic enters its second year, and job cuts in their families take a widening toll.
After more than 30 years of designing affordable new spaces out of existing structures, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal have won architecture’s highest honor.
The only painting by Gustav Klimt in the country’s national collection will be returned to the family of a Jewish woman who was forced to sell it. She died in the Holocaust.
Going through the looking glass with Dior, up in the mountains at Miu Miu and on an odyssey with Louis Vuitton.
Historians say there are still impediments to their research on the Algerian War, which remains sensitive in France, and point to the resealing of tens of thousands of once-public documents last year.
Israel-based Ibex Medical Analytics, which has an AI-driven imaging technology to detect cancer cells in biopsies more efficiently, has raised a $38 million Series B financing round led by Octopus Ventures and 83North. Also participating in the round was aMoon, Planven Entrepreneur Ventures and Dell Technologies Capital, the corporate venture arm of Dell Technologies. The company has now raised a total of $52 million since its launch in 2016. Ibex plans to use the investment to further sell into diagnostic labs in North America and Europe.
Originally incubated out of the Kamet Ventures incubator, Ibex’s “Galen” platform mimics the work of a pathologist, allowing them to diagnose cancer more accurately and faster and derive new insights from a biopsy specimen.
Because rates of cancer are on the rise and the medical procedures have become more complex, pathologists have a higher workload. Plus, says Ibex, there is a global shortage of pathologists, which can mean delays to the whole diagnostic process. The company claims pathologists can be 40% more productive using its solution.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Joseph Mossel, Ibex CEO and Co-founder said: “You can think of it as a pathologist’s assistant, so it kind of prepares the case in advance, marks the regions of interest, and allows the pathologist to achieve the efficiency gains.”
He said the company has secured the largest pathology network in France, and LD path, which is five pathology labs that service 24 NHS trusts in the UK, among others.
Michael Niddam, of Kamet Ventures said Ibex was an “excellent example of how Kamet works with founders very early on.” Ibex founders Joseph Mossel and Dr. Chaim Linhart had previously joined Kamet as Entrepreneurs in Residence before developing their idea.
At the end of May 1983, two pieces of Italian Renaissance armor went missing. The circumstances around their disappearance still remain a mystery.
The French president wants to change Europe, redefine his country and win re-election. But first he needs to overcome the biggest economic and social crisis since World War II.
The country’s culture of argument has come under the sway of a more ideological, more identity-focused model imported from the United States.
M.I.T. researchers have devised a virtual-reality technique that lets them read old letters that were mailed not in envelopes but in the writing paper itself after being folded into elaborate enclosures.
Investigations in France and Germany could lead to prosecutions of President Bashar al-Assad and members of his upper echelon over chemical weapons attacks, one of the Syrian war’s signature atrocities.
Nicolas Sarkozy was accused of trying to obtain confidential information from a judge by offering to help him land a job.
They fought and died as heroes for their country in World War I, only for segregation to persist.
It’s a wine that has long been typecast. Maybe now is the time to recognize that Beaujolais is no longer just one thing.
Microsoft is throwing its weight behind a European effort to force Big Tech companies to pay for the right to link to news articles. Google and Facebook have strongly opposed such proposals in both Europe and Australia, describing them as an attack on the open Web. Microsoft disagrees.
“Access to fresh, broad, and deep press coverage is critical to the success of our democracies,” said Microsoft Vice President Casper Klynge in a press statement.
Specifically, Microsoft is supporting calls for Europe to adopt a mandatory arbitration rule like the one now under consideration in Australia. Such a rule would increase the leverage of news publishers by giving them a way to force technology giants to the bargaining table.
For the first time in the Franco-Belgian comic book classic, Black characters have full-fledged roles and are drawn without the racist depictions that marred the genre.
After previously undisclosed contracts were revealed, the company has become a magnet for criticism in France’s vaccine rollout.
Frenchwomen who joined the Islamic State and are now held in squalid detention camps in Syria have gone on a hunger strike to protest France’s refusal to bring them back.
Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, a household name in France, is accused of sexually assaulting a female writer.
The government announced an investigation into social science research, broadening attacks on what it sees as destabilizing American influences.