Everyone knows about dating apps like Tinder and Bumble — but what about the mysterious one known as the Raya app? Smartphone applications are often difficult to keep up with. Well-known ones (like Twitter and TikTok) regularly get new features and updates that keep the experience fresh. There are also tons of budding apps vying for their own time in the limelight. Whether it be Locket Widget, Spam App, LiveIn, or something else, there’s always some new application to talk about.

One of the biggest app niches revolves around the dating space. Online dating has been around since the dawn of the internet, and thanks to modern smartphone applications, they’re more plentiful than ever. Tinder is the go-to choice for most people. Hinge markets itself as an app that’s ‘designed to be deleted.’ Bumble lets women make the first move. HUD is focused exclusively on casual dating.

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Then there’s the Raya app. The Raya app launched in March 2015 exclusively for the iPhone — and it’s remained that way ever since. And unlike other dating apps where virtually anyone can join, the Raya app is a private service that can only be used by people with approved memberships. While Raya isn’t anything new, it was brought to people’s attention in April 2022 following reports of Ben Affleck trying to contact Selling Sunset‘s Emma Hernan on the app.

Raya App Is Like Tinder For Celebrities

The Raya app

At its core, the Raya app is just like any other dating app. You can like/dislike potential matches, view people’s profiles, video chat with other users, and use a virtual map to see other Raya users in your area. While Raya’s primarily thought of as a dating app, it can also be used for professional networking or making friends. From that perspective, it’s not much different from Tinder or Bumble. You download the Raya app, connect with people you’re interested in, and that’s it.

But that’s where Raya starkly differs from the other dating apps mentioned above. While anyone with an iPhone can download the Raya app, using it requires a Raya membership. After downloading the app, users need to tap ‘Apply for membership,’ confirm their phone number, enter their basic personal info, and then submit their application to Raya for review. Anyone’s also welcome to submit an application, though the acceptance rate is reported as low as 8 percent. On the off chance that you get into the Raya app, you need to pay a minimum of $9.99/month to use it.

The best way to think of the Raya app is like Tinder for celebrities. It’s not exclusively for A-list Hollywood bigwigs, but it’s also not something the Average Joe can use. If you’re some kind of celebrity/influencer, Raya app could be worth checking out. But for everyone else, it’s just something you’ll have to keep reading about from the sidelines.