Dating apps have been a ubiquitous part of culture and relationships for the last decade as internet dating has become more commonplace.
We’re all familiar with the likes of Tinder, Bumble and Hinge but there are more specialized apps out there. One so-called celebrity dating app, Raya, is apparently widely used these days.
Raya, is a private, membership-based dating app said to be used by high-profile people and celebrities.
The app made headlines this week when a TikTok user went viral after sharing a video Ben Affleck apparently sent her after they matched on a dating app.
To join Raya, users must be referred by an existing member. Their application is then voted on by a membership committee and it is famously difficult to be accepted.
“Our focus at Raya is to provide members with access to exciting people and opportunities around the world. We are a private community where people come to connect for dating, networking, and friendship,” the app’s description reads on the Apple App Store.
A quasi-minimalist Raya website exists for non-users to browse. “We believe in individuality, creativity and sharing stories,” it reads.
Upon applying to join, prospective members are asked to share who they would like to invite to an intimate dinner party and why. They are also asked information about their work and to state what common bond they share with other users—like being in the entertainment industry for example.
“Thinking of the time I matched with Ben Affleck on Raya and thought it was fake so I unmatched him and he sent me a video on Instagram,” she wrote over the clip.
The video, the authenticity of which has not been independently verified by Newsweek, then purports to show the 48-year-old Batman actor asking Jay: “Nivine, why did you unmatch me? It’s me.”
Page Six reports that Affleck has been using it since 2019.
Affleck mentioned using Raya in 2019, when he posted to Instagram “HA, you got me. I’m dating,” before opening up about a cause he cared about.
Some notable celebrities who reportedly use or who have used Raya include Cara Delevingne, Ruby Rose, Sharon Stone, Moby, John Cusack, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Teri Hatcher, Elijah Wood and Zach Braff.
This list was compiled in 2018 by Nylon magazine, which had a peek inside the app.
Apart from movie stars and supermodels, other people who are said to use Raya include fashion designers, YouTubers, DJs, celebrity chefs and professional athletes.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina star Kiernan Shipka revealed she was a big fan of Raya, telling Stylist in 2019: “Raya for life. Love it. God bless Raya.”
Drew Barrymore once compared Raya to “looking through an Us Weekly” during a September 2020 appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.
“I did terribly too. 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,” she shared.