Thank You for Helping Us Grant a Wish!

Our National Superhero Day campaign was a huge success due to the generosity of the SKOUT community.

We surveyed more than 4,000 members of our community and learned more than 80% want to be superheroes in real life! And what does it take to be a superhero in real life? The majority of Skouters think it takes selflessness.

During our campaign, we asked Skouters to give a Superhero Gift to help SKOUT and Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area grant a wish to a child suffering from a life-threatening medical condition.

We owe our entire community a huge thank you for helping us meet our goal of granting a wish to a child in need of a real-life superhero. Thank you for exemplifying the true selflessness it takes to be a superhero.

Bastille Day: Eat and Play Around the World

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Even if you’re thousands of miles away from France, you can still toast the Blue, Blanc and Rouge for Bastille Day.

The French national holiday, which falls on July 14 every year, marks the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution in 1789. In France, our local Skouters will commemorate the historic event with parades, fireworks and parties. A few of our favorite Bastille Day traditions:

EAT

Wine, cheese, chocolate — we can thank the French for many of favorite indulgences. Here are four easy recipes you can make to indulge in these cultured treats. Bon appétit!

Chocolate strawberry crepes:

PLAY

In France, the lawn game pétanque is a favorite way to celebrate and enjoy some friendly competition with friends. With origins in South France, the outdoor activity is similar to horseshoes and bocce. Learn about where you can find a game here.

LEARN

Here is a quick (and pretty fun) article giving you the 411 on the French celebration. Enjoy learning about what your French Skouters are doing today!

Be A Part of the Skout Family!

Skout isn't just a great platform to meet new people, it's an amazing place to work! Our office is conveniently located in the beautiful SOMA district of San Francisco, and filled with everything you need to be happy at work. This includes: a stocked kitchen, shiny new Apple products, a game room, and a hammock in case you need to take a break. Skout wants you to be productive, but physically and mentally healthy, so we offer premium health, dental and vision coverage as well as a free gym membership. At Skout, we work smart, play hard and get this - we actually like hanging out with each other! Think you'd make a good fit? Check out our careers page, or send us an email at careers@skout.com

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Memorial Day, the Skout Way.

Business Insider just deemed New York City, Miami, Washington DC, Palm Springs, and Las Vegas the top 5 cities you need to visit this Memorial Day weekend. While these places are awesome, they may be a little out of reach if you're short on time or money. Still, that doesn't mean you can't have an action packed weekend elsewhere! For those of you who want to celebrate Memorial Day, but don't want to wait in long lines or pay $15 for a watered down Vodka Soda, here are 5 other ways you can enjoy your long weekend.

1. Hiking: Hiking is a great way to take advantage of a day off and get in touch with Mother Nature. Gather up the troops and enjoy the view! The best part? It's usually FREE! Suggested trails in the United States: Pacific Coast Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Trinity River Trail, Shark Valley, Buckeye Trail.

2. BBQ: Any day is a good day to celebrate with food. If the weather permits, invite some old and new friends to a park or your backyard for a barbecue! Make it a potluck and see who brings the most delicious dish. Suggested food: Potato salad, baby back ribs, hot dogs, ice cream, or something a little different like lumpia or elote.

memorial-day-weekend_bbq

3. Camping: Camping is a good way to take advantage of a three day weekend, especially with family or friends. Get on Skout, and see what popular campsites are in your area and who else will be there. Don't forget the s'mores! Suggested campsites: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort, Bayou Segnette State Parks, Enota Mountain Retreat, Keaiwa Heiau State Park.

4. Staycation: For those of you who don't know, a staycation is a vacation at home. You can be lazy in bed all weekend without a care in the world, or visit local attractions you've never been to before. If you have some extra cash, spend a few nights in a hotel or b&b and feel like a tourist in your own city! Suggested activities: Bike ride through the city, have a picnic in the park, visit a museum, attend a local open mic night.

5. Shopping: Where there's a holiday, there's usually a holiday sale not too far behind. Since you couldn't make it out of town, why not splurge a little and go shopping? You'll find some of the best deals out there this weekend! Suggested stores: Walmart, Best Buy, Sears, KMart.

Whether you decide to barbecue or attend a pool party, don't forget that Memorial Day is a day to remember our fallen soldiers. Have fun, be safe, and don't forget to share your Memorial Day weekend stories on Skout and see what everyone else is doing too. Skout On!

 

Survey Says: Princess Leia Still Has Hottest Buns in the Galaxy

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In honor of Sunday's Star Wars Day, we polled our global user base (here on Earth) to find out which character from the Star Wars franchise still maintains the most solar sex appeal.

Of more than 120,000 Star Wars fans who responded from 22 countries, both males and females unanimously expressed their penchant for Princess Leia! While 50 percent of males surveyed said they still have a thing for the Princess, with Natalie Portman's Padme Amidala coming in a distant second with only 15 percent of votes, 30 percent of females concur that Carrie Fischer's Princess still has the most sex appeal.  Who says men and women are from different planets? Both genders also agreed when it comes to who they'd least like to explore the universe with ...Gungan outcast Jar Jar Binks! Better luck next year.

Skout Takes a Stand on Shirtless Bathroom 'Selfies'

Article published here on the New York Daily News.

Bathroom selfies banned from flirting app Skout after it’s proved they lower appeal

The 'cliché of shirtless people showing off their abs' is now taboo on Skout, a match-making app used by 220 million worldwide. Celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber, however, may be the worst offenders.

At least one social network is putting the kibosh on bathroom selfies.

Skout, the so-called flirting app, has banned oversharing snaps of shirtless singles flexing their muscles in the mirror or stripped down in a tub full of bubbles, à la Rihanna, who posted steamy bath time photos on Instagram last year.

"This cliché of shirtless people showing off their abs — we're not having that," Skout's global PR manager Jordan Barnes said.

Miley Cyrus, of course, is one of the celebrities who has posted nearly nude shots from the bathroom.

MILEYCYRUS/VIA INSTAGRAM

Miley Cyrus, of course, is one of the celebrities who has posted nearly nude shots from the bathroom.

The app, used by more than 220 million people worldwide, will no longer approve shirtless selfies taken in restrooms, powder rooms or water closets.

"If you're dressed, it's fine," Barnes said.

The bathroom selfie is a trend embraced by celebrities on social media. Last week, Nicki Minaj posted a string of shower selfies, and Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber are also perpetrators.

Geraldo Rivera tweeted this towel snap — but Skout, for one, wants none of it.

GERALDO RIVERA/VIA TWITTER

Geraldo Rivera tweeted this towel snap — but Skout, for one, wants none of it.

Even non-celebrity figures indulge in the showy shots — a close-up of Anthony Weiner's pecs leaked in 2011, and who can forget Geraldo Rivera's nearly nude mirror selfie?

Barnes said Skout's decision came after market research revealed that the toilet-side snaps don't increase users' popularity.

Rihanna's bath time fun time picture will no longer be welcome on one social-media site.BADGIRLRIRI/VIA INSTAGRAM

Rihanna's bath time fun time picture will no longer be welcome on one social-media site.

Response rate drops 43% for people whose photos include a bathroom selfie, she said.

"People just don't want to see that stuff if they're really going to start talking to someone," she said.

Dating coach Laurel House points out another downside of the ubiquitous mirror selfie.

“It makes it look like you don’t have any friends to take photos of you,” she said.

Barnes credits the "digital and mobile revolution" for the influx of the TMI trend.

Skout and mophie do SXSW!

Ever wondered what it's like to hang with the Skout team? Well now you can find out, and earn some kickass prizes and party invites along the way. Skout and mophie have teamed up to bring you the ultimate SXSW Survival Kit. Is there anything worse than a low iPhone battery? We. Think. Not.  During the weekend of SXSW Interactive, March 7-9, spot and grab one of the team members by their awesome Skout tees and you've got a shot at winning one of the SUPER AWESOME SXSW Survival Kits complete with mophie juice packs, party invites, Skout swag and more. We're here to make sure you don't miss a single Skout message, tweet, Facebook update, Instagram #selfie, hilarious Vine or incriminating Snapchat. SM

In case you don't already have a mophie pack, we've still got your back. Visit the mophie Hanger, located at 5th and Waller, to get even more hooked up (and charged up) during SXSW Music, March 13-14.

At ANY time during SXSW, upload a picture to your Skout Buzz, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #SkoutSXSW in your Skout swag and you'll get Skout points dropped into your account on the house. Because we love ya'.

Worried you won't be able to track us down in Austin? Worry no more. Follow us and join the convo here:

Facebook: facebook.com/skout

Twitter: @skoutapp @mophie #SkoutSXSW

Instagram: @skoutapp

Ready, set, SKOUT!!!

Skout Swag Photo Contest!

Hey Skouters! Want your chance at 10,000 Skout points? We thought so! We’re kicking off a series of new challenges for our community to reward you for being so totally awesome. Today’s is a photo contest: #mykicks. Here’s the scoop:

It’s no secret that our Skouters are super fly, and we want to see your Skout swagger.  Upload a picture to your Skout buzz in the next 24 hours (and share via Twitter and Instagram please!) with the hashtag #mykicks showing how you rock your freshest shoes. Make sense? The winner will get 10,000 POINTS and will get an awesome feature here on the Skout blog. Make sense?

Winner will be announced next week. Ready, set, swag!

 

#SkoutSuccess

We've said it before, and we're saying it again. There are many things that make being a part of the Skout team such a rewarding job, but one of the greatest is hearing success stories from those who matter most to us: our amazing, awesome, passionate community members. We've made it our mission at Skout to enable as many connections as possible all over the world, and our hope is that those connections will change peoples lives. At the end of the day, hearing success stories makes the juice worth the squeeze, and we want to hear more of them! We know you have stories to tell, and our ears are open. Tweet us using the hashtag #SkoutSuccess to share your story about how Skout has impacted your life. We can't wait to hear from you.

Share away, Skouters!

FOSI Gives Skout Two Thumbs Up on Community Safety Work

  We are very proud to share with our Skout community and friends that the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) recognized Gosia Aleta, our very own community director, with an award for outstanding achievements in safety.

We’ve always been proud of the work Gosia and her team of 40 community managers are doing to keep our Skout community fun, healthy and ‘well-lit’ for all of our users, but FOSI’s award recognizes Skout’s outstanding community management staff and our industry leadership in safety measures.

We are setting the safety bar high and we are committed to developing and implementing the best tools, systems and educational methods that will keep you, our Skout community members, safe and engaged. Gosia’s recent recognition are important milestones for Skout and our work to ensure that you are protected and free to Skout away at your heart’s desire.

 

Skout Appoints VP of Trust, Safety & Community

 Skout recently named community safety expert Karen Barker vice president of trust, safety and community.

“As Skout’s community safety leader, Karen will ensure that trust and safety is built into everything we do,” said CEO and founder Christian Wiklund.

Barker will direct a global team of community managers, lead privacy and safety policy initiatives, collaborate with product, engineering and design teams, and oversee the enforcement of trust and safety policies.

“Our community is highly engaged and active because we create fun, positive experiences and have zero tolerance for bad behavior,” said Wiklund. “Karen will help us strengthen this commitment and guide us as we continue to implement some of the most advanced safety policies and technologies in the industry.”

Offering two separate and distinct communities for teens and adults, Skout is committed to cultivating peace of mind as community members easily and safely make new friends and enjoy features like chatting, virtual gift-giving and photo sharing.

Skout deploys advanced, proprietary technology that continuously monitors activity on the network to identify users whose behavior appears unusual, inappropriate or suspicious.  Under its zero-tolerance policy, Skout immediately bans users for inappropriate or suspicious behavior.

Barker is a customer safety expert who has designed and managed community care, fraud and risk programs for companies including Sprint, The Walt Disney Company, Restoration Hardware, and eHarmony.

Starting in 1990 as vice president of operations for SuperShuttle International, Barker worked with transportation associations and public utilities commissions to develop programs for the safety of passengers and drivers. She was instrumental in testing onboard safety technology including the first GPS-based vehicle tracking and dispatching system.

In her new role, Barker will be instrumental in actualizing Skout’s mission of connecting people around the world through a platform that is fun, engaging and secure.

“The opportunity to work with a community as dynamic and thriving as Skout’s is tremendous.  I look forward to building on the strong systems, tools and processes that reflect Skout’s top commitment, which is the safety of its community,” said Barker. “The Skout team has set the safety bar high and we will continue to work diligently to implement the best tools, systems and educational methods.”

 

 

Shake to Chat in iOS update - 3.2

Get the newest Skout update for iPhone, iPod, and iPad now! NEW FEATURE:

Shake shake shake!  Get an instant conversation with Skout's new Shake to Chat feature.

Download this newest version of Skout for iPhone, iPod, and iPad to get Shake to Chat and meet lots of new people!  Just tap Shake to Chat on the side menu and get shakin'!  Try not to get mesmerized by the pretty stars..............OH, below is a screenshot of Shake to Chat!

When you enter Shake to Chat and shake (not stir) your phone, you'll be put into a conversation with another person who is shaking too.  Your profiles will be anonymous for the first 40 seconds - A chance to meet someone completely new!  Be a social butterfly or just pass the time by chatting with new people on Skout.

WARNING: Always Shake with caution...We all remember when the Wii came out and there were game-related injuries! We recommend giving yourself a 3-foot safety radius when using Shake to Chat!  Skout is not legally responsible for any phones which "take flight" whilst being shaken.

Shake to Chat is available on Skout, BoyAhoy, and Flurv on iOS devices.

This release is also iPhone 5 and iOS 6 compatible, and as always, includes bug fixes and performance enhancements.  Onward and upward, no matter how big your screen!

 

Android Update - 3.2

  An Android update of Skout is now available in Google Play!

You can now invite your Instagram friends to chat with you on Skout with a personalized photo of your profile!

You can find the Add Instagram Friends button on the top of your chat inbox.

We have also revamped content-sharing.  You can now send smileys, photos, and gifts all from one easy menu.

 

Update now by going to SKOUT in Google Play (Android Market) and tapping UPDATE.

What Else is New in Android Version 3.2? • Free App Downloads – Send games and other apps as virtual gifts! • Add to Favorites – Easily add users to your Favorites list, directly from Chat. • Design updates – Love that Skout blue! • Bug fixes & Performance improvements

Android Update - Version 3.1

  Android Version 3.1.0 is now available in Google Play (Android Market).

Update to get all the new features and upgrades!

 

What's new in Android 3.1.0?

Performance and stability improvements

The Android app is faster and more stable, improving your Skout experience.

 

Add your Friends to Skout

You can invite your Facebook Friends or phone contacts to Skout.  Once they confirm, they will be added to your Friends list.

 

Detailed control over notification settings

Manage your notifications, so you can get alerted about new messages, when someone checks out your profile, photo comments, and more!  Or less.  You decide!

 

Interface updates for improved navigation

Design changes make navigation and chatting faster and easier.

 

Update to Skout 3.1.0 now!

 

 

Get the Brand New Skout!

Skout has undergone a complete makeover! We have updated our appearance and added new features and functions.

Get in on these exciting changes!  Update Skout on your Android or iOS device now.

 

See the New Look The Skout icon has changed from a heart to the Skout target to better represent Skout’s aim to make it fun and easy to meet new people and make friends. From our icon down to our toes, we’ve changed our appearance to be sleeker, smoother, and more intuitive.

 

Socialize
Skout is all about connecting and friendship, you can now add your friends from Facebook or contact list.  Show your social circle and Skout with your Friends.

 

Quickly Navigate Anywhere
Moving around the new Skout is super easy with swipe action – swipe to the left to access your chat inbox and swipe right to access the navigation menu.  You’ll be zipping around and chatting up a storm in no time!

Requested by You - Block List
You can now manage your own block list. Block and unblock users at your own choosing. On the left navigation menu (remember, swipe right to reveal it!), tap Settings, then Blocked Users to access your block list.

 

Comment and Share A picture is worth a thousand words, so we've enhanced the photo viewing and commenting experience with pinch and zoom capability, a photo gallery, and smoother browsing.

 

Speaking Your Language
Skout now supports 13 languages, including French, Italian, Swedish, Thai, and Indonesian.

Skout Teen Community Suspension

UPDATE 12pm PT 6/20:


Skout users,


As I mentioned in my last update, I'm genuinely moved by your response.  One thing is clear: you're as passionate about the Skout community as I am.  Your safety is our #1 priority and that's why we're taking this time to evaluate our procedures and work with experts to strengthen the measures we already have in place.


I also wanted to let you know that we are pushing an update to our iOS and Android apps that will be live within the week. This app update has been in the works for several months – it addresses a few bugs and introduces an improved user interface.

This does not change the suspension of our teen community.  We're still working 24/7 on our safety improvements, and I'll give you an update on when we'll be reopening the under-18 community as soon as possible.


Christian

UPDATE 11:10pm PT 6/13:

I am deeply touched by all the responses here, and understand the pain the temporary suspension is causing. Rest assured, we are working around the clock on this. While we are making good progress on building new features that will enhance Skout's safety  -- we are not quite there yet. Please, bear with us and hang in there!

Christian Wiklund, Founder and CEO

-----

Today Skout has decided to temporarily suspend access to our teen community.  This is not a decision we made lightly, so let me explain in my own words why we chose this path.

The safety of our community is our #1 concern.  About a year ago, we noticed that a number of underage users were entering the 18+ community.  So, we thought long and hard about how to set up a safe network for teens and decided to broaden our reach to be more than just a dating app.  Since then, we’ve grown to become one of the largest mobile networks for meeting new people.

Our commitment to safety remains.  With more than a quarter of our staff dedicated to community management, we actively monitor and screen to ensure that the two separate communities for users 18+ and for teen users are kept distinct and that behavior is age-appropriate.  We deploy advanced, proprietary technology that continuously monitors activity on the network to identify users whose behavior appears unusual, inappropriate or suspicious.  Under our zero-tolerance policy, we immediately ban users for inappropriate or suspicious behavior.  Also, unlike many location-based apps, Skout provides general rather than specific location information, empowering each community member to decide if, when and where to meet in person.

However, it’s become clear to us that these measures aren’t enough.  In recent weeks, we’ve learned of several incidents involving a few bad actors trying to take advantage of some of our younger members.

We thought carefully about what to do.  We know how much Skout means to our teen community, and, at Skout, our community means everything to us. For now, we believe that there’s only one thing we can do: until we can design better protections, we are temporarily shutting down the under-18 community.

We are extremely sorry about this, but we don’t believe we have any other choice.  We will not compromise the safety of our community, and right now, our concerns are too significant to simply stand by and do nothing.  We are working around the clock to build better safeguards, including mechanisms for age verification, and we’re partnering with a leading risk management advisory firm to strengthen our current security measures.  We hope to have the community back online soon.

Again, I’m very, very sorry, but I hope you understand why we decided to take this step.  Skout means a lot to you -- it means a lot to me, too.  We want to do what is right, and that starts by doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our community.

- Christian Wiklund, Founder and CEO

 

Terms of Service Update and a Reminder

With tens of thousands of new users signing onto our app each day, we’re working hard to make the experience of meeting new people as fun and positive as possible.  We want to do this by staying true to our community and maintaining your trust, so we regularly review and update our Terms of Service (TOS). Today we rolled out some updates to the TOS, so that it’s easier to read, more transparent, and fully represents the intended uses of Skout and the character of our community. Importantly, although our Privacy Policy has long declared that Skout does not intend to accept registrations from children under 13, our TOS now explicitly forbids children under 13 from using our service. Skout is designed for two separate communities – adults and teenagers 13 and older – and we’ve made sure to spell that out as clearly as possible in this updated TOS. We encourage you to read the full policy and we welcome your comments.

Related to the TOS changes, we want to remind the community about what is and isn’t allowed on Skout. One of the things that users love most about Skout is that we are all about preserving and re-creating the “magic” of serendipitous meetings, making possible a wide range of social connections from friendship to networking. But while we love to foster serendipity, we aim to take the risk factor out of it. How do we do that? In several different ways:

  • One, we are obsessively focused on keeping our community safe. We have zero tolerance for bad behavior, and we ban about 40,000 devices each month for violations of our standards. Our community managers monitor activity 24/7, using custom-built tools to identify suspicious or inappropriate keywords and behaviors, in partnership with our vigilant users. Every single report from our users is looked at by a real person and addressed in a timely manner.
  • Two, unlike many location-based apps, Skout provides general rather than specific location information, empowering each community member to decide if, when and where to meet in person. Community members never have to reveal any personal information except age and gender. You are in control of your online experience at all times – and we always recommend that users remain anonymous until they feel ready and confident that the person they’ve been chatting with is safe to meet. If you ever feel unsafe or threatened, Skout recommends that you cease communication and report any misbehavior immediately using the Report button or emailing support@skout.com.

If you get to the point where you are ready to meet your new Skout friend in person, please refer to our safety tips, that we shared on the Skout blog a few months ago.