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!

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.

This is a drawing I did of you, being a social butterfly as you’re using Skout’s Shake to Chat.
Holy crap, look how happy you are! You’re even wearing a bow tie. Classy as…

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!

Your own profile photo will be added to the phone in the picture when you invite your Instagram friends!

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

Tap Add Instagram Friends in your chat inbox

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

Easily share photos, smileys, and gifts

 

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