What Is Raya? Inside The Exclusive Dating App For Celebrities And Influencers
10 May 2021, 17:20
Exclusive dating app Raya has hit the headlines in recent weeks, with celebrities like Ben Affleck and now Matthew Perry being exposed by users for their in-app activity.
Earlier this month, TikTokker Nivine Jay went viral after revealing that 48-year-old Gone Girl star Ben Affleck had sent her a video via Instagram after she unmatched him.
In the clip, Affleck says: "Nivine, why did you unmatch me? It's me."
While many have criticised the Hollywood A-lister for his “creepy” come-ons, others have suggested that he sent the clip to Jay to prove his profile was real.
Friends star Matthew Perry has also been called out for messaging then-19-year-old Kate Haralson last year, with the LA-based personal assistant stating: “It kind of felt weird talking to someone my dad’s age and it just felt not right, especially when he knew how young I was.”
According to reports, Haralson has since been removed from Raya for breaking community guidelines.
It’s not just the general public who are swept up in the exclusive dating app, though.
Model and TV presenter Chrissy Teigen wrote on Twitter: “I agree celebs shouldn’t be making these creepy desperate video replies on raya but it’s tacky to release private messages.”
I agree celebs shouldn’t be making these creepy desperate video replies on raya but it’s tacky to release private messages. Ya both wrong, congrats— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 6, 2021
She added: “Ya both wrong, congrats.”
So what exactly is Raya and which celebrities use the VIP dating app? Here’s the lowdown…
What is Raya?
First launched in 2015, Raya is an exclusive, members-only dating and networking app. Think Soho House, but for dating. Because of the app’s discretion and strict criteria for its members, Raya is used by influencers and celebrities alike, and is seen as a trusted platform where people can interact with one another with some degree of privacy.
Is the app just for dating?
No. Raya may have started out as a dating app, but it’s come a long way since its conception. It now features a directory and global map to help users connect and network.
Members can state whether they are looking for romantic or professional connections - or if they’re just on the app to find friends.
The directory function enables users to search by category, while the map indicates users nearby. Those who appear on these tabs change day-by-day, and depending on what type of subscription you have.
How do I become a member?
While anyone can apply to become a member, you must meet the criteria to be accepted.
If you know someone who is already a member, you can be vetted by them to increase your chances of getting accepted. Otherwise, it helps to have a healthy social following and a creative, unique job/interest.
The whole premise of the app is to create a cool, inspiring community.
Membership fees do vary, depending on the level of access you require. Basic subscription starts from $7.99 per month.
Which celebrities have Raya profiles?
Besides Ben and Matthew, there is a plethora of celebs on the dating app.
While it wouldn’t be right to reveal all the celebs on the platform, here are the ones who’ve spoken publicly about the app:
During her 2017 documentary, Simply Complicated, Demi revealed that she had signed up to the dating app after her split from Wilmer Valderrama.
Speaking to Busy Phillips on Busy Tonight in 2019, the ‘Juice’ singer stated that she had joined Raya in the hopes of matching with John Mayer.
The US comedian revealed to Glamour last year that the dating site had become her “favourite app” during the pandemic. “It’s very circular,” she said, “You go through the same group of people, like, every six months. But it’s been so long in this pandemic that I’m like, ‘Listen, I need to make sure my body still works.’ So I’m trying to get something going.”
Unfortunately the Never Been Kissed actress wasn’t so successful using Raya. Last year, she told Andy Cohen: “I got stood up, and I didn’t match with anyone. And my friends gave me this sort of bloated sense of false confidence. They were like, ‘You should try it. You will do great.’ It was a car wreck.”