High-Tech Astrology Apps Claim to Be More Personalized Than Ever. Gen Z-ers Are Turning Out to Be Believers.

chloeisme91·2022년 6월 22일


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On a Tuesday in July, my phone began buzzing at 9:10 a.m. with a notification from The Pattern. "While it's OK to embrace your competitive, independent spirit and fierceness, you don't need to be stubborn about it," the astrology app tells me. At 10:55 a.m., Sanctuary chimes in: "Let yourself get carried away! Passion will push you to authentic success." At 12:36 p.m., The Pattern is back: "Today it could feel like love is in the air..." And then Co-Star adds at 12:53 p.m.: "You are a constellation of sadness." Sanctuary wants the final word with a 2:30 p.m. update: "It's getting hot in here! It's the sexiest couple of the year! Mars links to Venus today and lights your heart on fire. Is your soulmate headed towards you, or are they already here?" All three apps have used my same birth date and location information at signup; the conclusions they're drawing are a matter of the algorithmic magic at the center of their AI hearts. In the midst of an uncertain year, it's easy to get wrapped up in their sometimes-buoyant, sometimes-cryptic advice. By Wednesday morning, I started wondering: is my soulmate truly the guy I've gone on a few dates with this summer? Do I need to be less stubborn? Is the malaise I feel today just something I can't change?

The Pattern, Sanctuary and Co-Star are three leaders in a batch of astrological apps that have found a devoted audience over the past year. They each now claim to be more personalized than ever thanks to both algorithmic and live readings, and along with injections of capital into what one founder calls the "mystical services" space and a pandemic-induced interest in self-actualization and self-development, that's led to a fresh boomtime for these companies.

Co-star raised $15 million this spring from venture capital. Sanctuary raised $3 million; The Pattern is preparing to raise for the first time soon, building on the momentum of their 15-million-user audience. Their plans: develop communities that depend on the automated, personalized predictions that their tech-boosted platforms can provide, at scale, in ways that traditional monthly or daily horoscopes never could. With individualized birth charts allowing for endless compatibility testing and daily, granular forecasts, the new business of astrology is about catering to each person, not each sign. Co-Star, for instance, brands itself as a "legitimate tool for self-care," able to facilitate "meaningful connections" through its compatibility reports; they also have a plan to monetize through subscriptions. Sanctuary provides paid one-on-one text-based support-a kind of predictive therapy-with a stable of professional astrologists and tarot card readers available at the tap of a screen. The Pattern, which founder Lisa Donovan describes as "Facebook for the soul," is developing its own paid version of a dating app, helping match people based on their profiles. The result: A network of options to navigate daily decision-making, all pieces of a "psychic services" market that has been valued at around $2.2 billion in the U.S.

"You are very powerful," Lisa Donovan tells me over Zoom from 4,800 miles away. "Anything you want you to do, you can probably make happen. So just trust yourself and do it." Donovan is the founder of The Pattern, and she is reading my birth chart. After successfully existing a YouTube-personality turned tech career, Donovan delved into astrology and found reading personally userful during a challenging time in her life. She started The Pattern in 2017, writing all of the app's seemingly-infinite tidbits of analysis herself.

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2023년 7월 24일

It seems to me that now the new generation is very carefully studying this information during the first dates.

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