Over the summer, my best friend told me about this app that had taken over her school. Every girl had it, and every guy wanted it. I’m talking of course about LuLu.
It’s a ‘girls only’ app that lets girls anonymously rate guys based on a series of questions and hashtags. Sounds dangerous right? Apparently, this frenzy to rate your best guy friends and hookups has swept the nation, but at BC? No dice.
I realize this app started eight months ago and that I should have forgotten this by now. BUT I’M NOT OVER IT. SO DEAL. It’s because, when I found out about this app, I thanked the old gods and the new. I thought this was going to be a hit at BC, that it would change the campus dating scene and revolutionize girl-guy relationships. I thought it would be like Gossip Girl where everyone gets a message on their phone at the same time then everyone looks up in unison and stares down the target of the rumor. It didn’t. Not even a little.
Apart from the obvious ethical issues that come with rating guys and demeaning them to hashtags and a 1-10 rating scale, there were other problems with this app. Here are the basic issues with the basic features and why this app didn’t go as viral as I thought it would.
1. It’s only for girls, but not really
To use the app, you have be a girl, so you have to sign in through Facebook. There’s no way around this. EXCEPT OH WAIT THERE IS. Guys have created FAKE Facebook accounts to get their ratings back up. How sad is that? So did that guy really get a 9.7? Or did he make a fake account and boost up his rating? Who knows. Even weirder, with the new iOS7 update, Lulu revamped its style and let guys write their own hashtags about themselves. The hashtags are highlighted blue if guys wrote them. The whole point of this app is that it’s girls only, but it does add character and validity to the ratings.
2. The hashtags are incredibly limiting
If you haven’t seen this:
...crawl back under your rock. Otherwise, you know how annoying hashtags can get. Lulu gives you a predetermined list of hashtags that girls can attribute to guys. There are the ‘best’ hashtags, which include #CanTalkToMyDad, #AlwaysPays, #HotFriends, #NotADick. And the ‘worst’ hashtags range from #Can’tBuildIkeaFurniture and #CheaperThanABigMac to #SketchyCallLog and #GoneByMorning. But what if I want to write about that one time he wrote me a song! Or the time he broke up with me in a text message! These hashtags don’t give much room to personal accounts and things that actually matter. So what if he can build Ikea furniture? That tells me nothing. Nothing useful anyway.
3. Word of mouth > possibly falsified stats
We go to a small school. A very small school. It may not seem that small, but have you ever friended someone on Facebook and not had at least four mutual friends? Those ratings can be misleading. It could be that his best friend felt bad for him and gave him a 10 just to make him look good again. Or it could be a jealous ex who trashed him in the reviews just to spite him. Chances are, if I want to scope out some guy and find out the dirt on him, I have a better chance just asking around to my friends.
The point is, LuLu had a great marketing concept: Play off of girls’ inclination to gossip and talk and create an app that makes girl world both public and anonymous. But maybe girl world at BC is vocal enough, without having to carry it around in our pockets.