So, sure, Raya is much less superficial than its popularity would counsel. But absolutely Mr. Gendelman would admit that attractiveness and notoriety play some function in its standards for admission. Consider, I mentioned, my nonexistent Uncle Tony — a hypothetical terrible-looking outdated man with no public profile and no Instagram following to talk of. If he utilized to Raya, he’d be an automated rejection, proper?
Mr. Gendelman shook his head.
“Is Tony decently interesting? Is he passionate?” he requested. “I’m not kidding — we’re interested in curating digital dinner parties, so to speak, and that comes in all forms.”
Among the Carb Enthusiasts
After we met, Mr. Gendelman gave me my very own Raya account, in order that I may see the group’s range for myself. He made me promise to not identify any members I met there, a situation I accepted on the grounds that most of the well-known ones have already been outed.
After agreeing to abide by the principles, I opened the app and created my profile utilizing just a few rigorously chosen photographs and an Imagine Dragons tune I pulled randomly from iTunes. (Raya makes use of full-screen slide exhibits set to music, in lieu of static profile photographs.)
Within the primary day of use, I noticed an A-list musician, a number of TV information anchors, a household-name comic, two N.F.L. gamers and a high-ranking tech government. I noticed a number of nonfamous folks too — faculty college students, designers, seemingly the whole editorial workers of Condé Nast. Everyone was both very enticing or the sort of individual to whom very enticing folks can be drawn.
There is one thing thrilling, and just a little embarrassing, about this rarefied air. To go on Raya is to enter a wierd and alluring world full of thirsty elites, a spot the place fame is measured in Instagram followers and humble-bragging is a excessive artwork (“I direct things,” reads the profile of 1 profitable filmmaker; a well known tv actress describes herself solely as a “carb enthusiast”), and the place the common B.M.I. appears to hover within the excessive teenagers.