In this age of online everything, there’s a likelihood that the people you interact with the most are the ones you might have met off the internet. Apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble exist to give people a way to match with others who live in the same region while there are other options for those looking for a certain specificity like BLK for Black Singes, Her for women seeking women, and Lumen for those over 50.
So what if Hollywood stars and celebrities also want to date using an app on their phone? That’s exactly what Raya offers to its extremely exclusive userbase. In this post, we’ll help you understand what Raya is all about, what do you need to do to get in it, and how you may use it.
What is Raya celebrity dating app?
Raya calls itself an online community of dating, networking, and befriending new people using technology. The dating service which went live in 2015, is nothing like other well accessible dating apps in the market but is instead exclusive to those who are rich and famous.
To make the most out of Raya, the service wants to empower you to become a “far more expressive version” of yourself than you would be anywhere else. The app is only available for download on iOS devices and is yet to be made available on Android.
You can only start using Raya if you get an invite by someone who’s already using the app or if your application has been approved by Raya’s anonymous committee who determines whether you’re worthy of using the app. To sum it up, you either need to be or know someone rich and famous or get approved by Raya’s panelists to start using the dating app.
How much Raya cost?
Raya’s exclusivity doesn’t just mean that you need to be approved on the app, you will also have to take up a membership which is going to cost you a somewhat hefty fee if you wish to keep using it in the long run. Here’s a breakup of the membership fees on Raya:
What do you need to get into and keep using Raya?
Raya has certain criteria that you need to meet if you wish to get into its dating service and start using it.
- You own an iPhone (naturally!)
- You’re at least 18 years of age
- You’re an A-list celebrity, actor, artist, or athlete or you know one; or you have a Raya invite from someone who’s already using the app; or you have managed to get approval
- You have a well-managed Instagram profile or have websites, and blogs that can help others understand how you view the world
- You don’t show any signs of racism, hatred, bigotry, bullying, disrespect, and violence
- Raya’s website also points out that for continued engagement on the app, you should avoid showing off consistently
How to get into Raya
Now comes the most difficult part – getting into Raya. That’s because it’s a different process depending on who you are, whom you know, and most importantly, it’s meant to be hard.
Case A: A-list celebrities can just install the Raya App from the Apple App Store and look no further as they’ll be approved straight away.
Case B: Even if you’re a friend of a celebrity and they use Raya, you can sneak into the app using what they call a “friend pass”. Raya says a trusted member can vouch for you if they feel like you will add to the collective community conversation. If you have one, ask your celebrity friend to send you an invite to Raya and the service will most deftly approve your account on their platform right away.
If you belong to neither of the cases above, then you will have to start from scratch, that is, apply for a Raya membership yourself. You can apply by filling up your details but the process that follows is when it gets complicated.
According to Raya, your application once submitted will be judged on “algorithmic values”, and then assessed by “hundreds of committee members”. Raya says the committee members are anonymous to each other and are made up of various ages, interests, backgrounds, and sexual orientations.
To stand out from other applicants, Raya explains that you should have that “something extra” within you. You can be anyone from any walks of life and as long as you’re interesting and expressive, you will get into Raya. The service’s website demands that you do something interesting like being a “NASA scientist, cancer researcher, poet, painter”.
Once your application has been submitted, you just have to wait. Raya’s official site reads that decisions on applications can range anywhere from a day to a few months to get approved. According to The New York Times, only 8 percent of Raya’s applicants are accepted, which means the chances of you joining Raya is less than getting into Harvard or Oxford.
If you’re one of the lucky ones to get approved by them, you will have to pay the membership fees as we listed above. After that, you can start using Raya.
How does Raya work
When you sign up for Raya and get accepted, you will have to set it up for the first time.
The app works slightly differently from other dating apps in the market. You will have to upload a bunch of your most attractive photos and select soundtrack of your choice to play it alongside the slideshow of your selected pictures when someone’s viewing your profile.
Additionally, you can add a short bio to your profile to let the other person know about who you are, what you do, and what you like. For standing out among the rest of the people on Raya, it helps if you have a large follower base on Instagram and link your Raya account with it.
When viewing other profiles, you will also be able to view their slideshow of pretty pictures with their preferred song put in the mix. Contrary to what the tradition has been for dating apps, you’re not restricted to people available around you; Raya will show you users all around the world. Yes, you can match with someone in Europe even if you’re in the US.
However, like Tinder and Snapmaps, there’s also an option to see only those people who are in and around the same location as you are on Raya.
If two people like each other, they match, and only then they can start chatting.
When you match with someone, you have a 10-day limit within which you’re supposed to send a message the other person. If you had no conversation with a person you matched 10 days ago, the match runs out and beyond this point, you lose the chance to talk to the person again. Bumble also uses a match deadline but you’re limited to have a conversation with the other person within 24 hours of a match, instead of 10 days.
You can video chat with the people you connect directly from Raya without needing to exchange phone numbers. The social-dating app lets you share and respond to statuses, birthdays, and travel pictures with your connections.
One of the things that has been spoken much about by the users of the app is that it preserves user privacy and intimacy. Raya requests its members to stay respectful when conversing with their matches and to safeguard the conversations of its members, the app prevents you from taking screenshots, as noted by Elite Daily. When you take a screenshot, Raya will know what you did and will send you a warning asking you not to.
It’s still unknown whether you could record your screen and get away with it but from what it appears, even that might be discouraged. What this collectively means is that you cannot share the chats you’re having with your potential date with your best friends and ask them for their input.
Is Raya good?
Among those who have used Raya in the past, their experiences have been mixed, even for celebrities. While there are people like Kiernan Shipka who have stated that they love using the app, there have been others who have felt otherwise. Demi Lovato recently revealed that she failed to log back into her profile after having deleted it before. Singer Lizzo disclosed on the Busy Tonight show that “it didn’t work out” for her on Raya after she tried to match with John Mayer.
Regular users (the non-celebrities) have been even more vocal about Raya’s shortcomings, most of which point to the fact that it’s very hard to get on the app.
That’s partly because your application goes through a lengthy assessing process with no guarantee of when or whether it will get approved from Raya.
Some say that Raya only works out if you live in a major city in the US.
Even if you live in one of the major cities in the US, chances are that the end result might be the same for you as you got from other dating apps. That’s exactly what this user says.
The one reason you might want to get on Raya would be to meet with celebrities or extend your network for work purposes but don’t have high expectations.
And even if you like how Raya has laid out the options for you, you might simply not like it. Raya, like other dating apps, is no different and most people on the platform could just be looking for a casual hook-up.
People have experienced the same kind of behavior even from celebrities. Many say the app is where the rich and famous show off their wealth and popularity in return for some fun during their trips.
Some people even believe that the active celebrities on the platform aren’t even that famous.
All of this hasn’t stopped others from wanting to get on the platform. Reddit and Twitter are full of threads where users request others to send them an invite to Raya…
…with some willing to exchange their Clubhouse invites for a referral to Raya…
…and some even offering money.
But even after all of that, we do feel that there are a lot of strong talking points with Raya. First things first, you can scan someone’s social media before talking to them so that you know your expectations and you’re not lied to. This actually makes Raya a safer platform to use. Secondly, people you meet on Raya will actually have intentions to meet and pay for a date.
Having said that, it’s up to you to decide whether or not Raya should work for you, and if yes, you should decide for yourself if you’re willing to go through the long stringy process of applying for an account. The ball is in your court!
Celebrities who are on Raya
Since its launch in 2015, Raya has been at the forefront of exclusive dating. It was just a matter of time before celebrities would start exploring the app and to this date, there have been numerous occasions where users have stumbled upon famous A-listers and have even gotten lucky matching with them. Hollywood’s own Channing Tatum is known to be one of the recent stars, having joined the app in 2019.
Singer Demi Lovato has also appeared on many user’s screens and has openly revealed about using Raya on her Youtube documentary, Simply Complicated. Kiernan Shipka, the star known from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, has also disclosed in the past that she’s a fan of Raya and has gone out on a few dates using the app.
Other notable personalities reported to have used Raya include – Drew Barrymore, Emma Watson, Joe Jonas, Ben Affleck, Jack Whitehall, Cara Delevingne, Matthew Perry, Lewis Capaldi, Niall Horan, Tom Felton, Lily Allen, Brittany Furlan, Tommy Lee, Whitney Cummings, Lil Dicky, Melissa Villaseñor, Bob Saget, Emily Atack, Paul Bissonnette, Nick Kroll, Lewis Capaldi.
That’s all we have to share with you about Raya. If you have had personal experience with the app or something we haven’t already shared, contact us and we’ll make sure we include it.