(2019-10-04) Inside Costar The Smartestand Meanest Astrology App Out There

Inside Co—Star, the smartest (and meanest) astrology app out there. The app asks users for detailed biographical information to develop an accurate natal chart, which is an “astronomical snapshot of the sky based on the exact day, time, and place you were born,” according to the copy on the app’s website. Co—Star sets itself apart from its competitors by using “data from NASA” and a proprietary algorithm that spits out unique, slightly robotic horoscopes for users each day, delivered in the form of push notifications.

Astrology, as you have probably heard, is trending.

The “mystical services” market, which includes astrology as well as services like aura reading and mediumship, is now a $2.2 billion industry. Naturally, these kinds of services are moving online, and several app developers have stepped in to monetize the trend.

Many have attributed the current astrology frenzy to millennials’ desire to talk about themselves at every turn. As Amanda Hess wrote at The New York Times last year, “Astrology checks several boxes for viral-happy content: It provides an easy framework for endlessly personalized material, targets women, and accesses ’90s nostalgia. It’s the cosmic BuzzFeed quiz.”

But according to Banu Guler, the 31-year-old co-founder and CEO of Co—Star, there is nothing silly about using astrology to explain yourself to your friends and followers. “The crux of feeling like a human is being able to talk about your reality,”

Astrology, she argues, “is a form of self care. I think it’s also a way of, sort of, collective care. Right? Maybe ‘collective self care’ is the word … this idea of building relationships with each other and taking care of each other.”

“By positioning human experience against a backdrop of a vast universe, Co-Star creates a shortcut to real talk in a sea of small talk: a way to talk about who we are and how we relate to each other,”

Mirkinson and the rest of the content team are not creating personalized horoscopes for every user from scratch every day. Instead, they write “snippets that are mapped to various planets and houses and signs and combinations thereof, and they get assembled by the AI, and remixed by the AI,” Guler explains.

the sun sign horoscopes Miller provides are a fairly recent tradition. A British astrologer named R.H. Naylor invented the sun sign horoscope — the kind you see in the back of a magazine — in the 1930s as a way to sell newspapers. Co—Star, with its use of the entire natal chart, provides a more traditional reading of the stars.

“I don’t open my Co—Star notifications, and I feel good about that,” she says. “It’s just like, you get your message and you keep going with your day.”

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