Raya’s creators did not respond to requests for comment, and neither did representatives for any of the public figures whose names are cited in this story.
The controlled hush around Raya points to a paradox of internet culture: The more everyone strives for digital fame, the more those who achieve it search for ways to escape.
The artist I met for coffee has already noticed the crowd change since the beginning of July, when he signed up. Like, if you’re a lingerie model, are you a creative?
” As soon as enough people hear about it, the argument goes, photos will leak, undesirables will show up, and hype will evaporate.
Or maybe their profile shows up and you decide to reject them.
(This makes sense, given that careful control of one’s social-media brand is a prerequisite for admission.) Most of the half-dozen Raya members I interviewed were skittish about publicly discussing the app, and preferred to remain anonymous.
“Like, if a girl picks ‘Trap Queen.’”) Instagram handles are hyperlinked within profiles for easy browsing, but you can’t like or comment — if you want to engage, both of you must tap the heart on each other’s Raya profiles and hope for a match.indicator of dateability?
“If you have a million selfies, I find that somewhat off-putting,” said Molly Berman, an L.
There were plenty of non-famous people, too: artists, models, record-label employees, ad execs, photographers.
Most had Instagram follower counts starting in the low thousands, or else were young and very, applicants are evaluated by an algorithm, which considers “overall Instagram influence, who recommended the applicant, and how many active Raya members follow the applicant on Instagram,” as well as a committee’s vote.Watching the procession of photos felt intimate, like Face Timing a friend, but also creepy, like hacking into someone’s phone. Patrick has a last name even your grandmother who’s never used an app would recognize — his dad’s a movie star.