Despite being enmeshed in the digital world, Facebook is coming under fire for use of user’s information seemingly without their consent. This has caused increased awareness for users of any app as it is more publicly known that apps use people’s information for things that are not readily apparent, such as advertising. With this increased awareness, it has put a bit of a black mark on the tech sector as many companies follow similar methods as Facebook. For up and coming apps, their business models are crucial in indicating whether they will be able to survive in the tech sector.
Surely everyone has been in a situation where they see someone every day be it at a coffee shop, or in a lecture, or just walking past them. Regardless, there’s that connection of some sort of social factor that draws that person into a certain part of someone else’s day. The dating app Lucid was developed in hopes of providing a platform to take that relationship from casually walking past each other, to an actual conversation.
Lucid is a developing dating app based at Western University. Three people work on the app, including the creator, the developer, and a marketer. The basis of the app is that it uses people’s information such as social media, location and contacts, and matches them with other people who are likely part of some common social circle. The biggest difference between Lucid and a dating app like Tinder, is that it matches users with people they ideally know, rather than complete strangers who also have the app in a geographical area.
Given that Lucid uses people’s information to function, their business model is crucial. The Facebook scandal has made the startup more aware, as Head Marketer Luigi Mazi points out: “we’re able to see what Facebook has done in the last few weeks and learn from it… and input that into our app.”
Lucid uses push notifications to notify users of any use of their information. It is the small things like this that show that the app is concerned about its users, a point which is Mazi and Lucid are trying to implement into their overall business model. Transparency is the operative word for startup tech businesses like Lucid–telling people exactly what they are using their information for. A majority of the outrage surrounding Facebook comes in the fact that people simply did not know exactly what their information was being used for. When users are explicitly notified as to what their information is being used for, the onus is then on them to decide if they are okay with. The obvious trade off is users’ information, for the use of the app.
Lucid’s business practices as a startup show hope for the tech sector. By providing push notifications, making way for more transparent business practices, Lucid prioritizes the user and puts the ball in their court. Ideally, every app should be this way given that there are far more users than there are developers. Without the users, there is no app, but the users also give the app its power. It’s a paradox which will surely undergo many more challenges much like the recent Facebook news. But for Lucid, their future looks bright in the tech sector with their business practices.