The weather is cooling, homecoming weekends are popping up all over the country and the most romantic holidays of the year are quickly approaching. If I’m not mistaken, cuffing season has officially commenced.
Are you going to sit on the bench all season or are you going to get some game time?
Cuddling up with whatever random you come across is not the move. But lucky for you, your bae could be just a download away.
Last week I had an opportunity to speak with Justin Gerrard, co-founder of BAE, a new dating app for black singles that launched in April from an all black team (which is extremely rare).
During our chat Justin and I talked about how the concept for the app came about, what users can expect and what I can do to find a bae outside of my hometown selection LOL.
Check out excerpts from our interview below or click here to listen to the full audio.
On what inspired Justin and the other founders to create the app:
About a year ago this time my co-founder and our CEO, my brother Brian, had an idea around an app. The reason was because we were sitting around a table with some entrepreneurial friends of ours, happened to all be African Americans and we were kinda talking about different ideas we had but you know as and when a bunch of guys get together, you ultimately start talking about dating and relationships. My brother relayed a story of one of his white friends who had recently joined Tinder and had about 50 matches within one week. Then he talked about another friend, who’s African American and had similar attractiveness to his white friend, but he only had about 3 matches in that same period of time.
There are two things that kinda stuck out. One, if someone’s getting 50 matches then they’re probably only talking to about 3 or 4 of those people, so for the remaining 45 or 46 it’s probably not a good experience for them. Additionally, why was the experience for his black friend so different from that of his white friend? So we started to dig into the data a little bit. OK Cupid did a study that showed that 82% of non-black men had a negative bias against black women in dating and black men and women typically have the lowest attractiveness ratings of all ethnic groups. Unfortunately African Americans have to send 10 times the number of messages just to receive a single response. While that was very shocking data, we realized there was a huge opportunity there.
Cities the app is currently available in:
We basically wanted to try to capture cities that are within a very densely populated area of the U.S. The interesting thing of our top ten markets, obviously it’s New York, D.C., Atlanta…but it’s also LA, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore…where there are a lot of people who look like us. Regardless of where you download the app you should be able to find some people in your general proximity right now based on the number of users we have now. At the same time, we wouldn’t be where we are without our community telling other people about the app. The best thing your readers can do is download the app, share their experience and tell their friends.
For people who are cautious about dating online:
You can use the profile settings to show what you want in your BAE profile. Just to make the experience really seamless for you, you need to use Facebook to log in. And that’s to prevent against cat fishing. Ninety-three percent of people who create Facebook profiles are typically showing their actual information. Whereas if it was just a regular email signup anyone can be on there and put whatever pictures they want on it. We’re working towards having other ways to sign up and log in but this is the best way we know of now to kind of prevent that cat fishing.
I actually have a bae in real life but for this interview, I downloaded the app to see what it was like and right off the bat, I love the terminology and phrases that it uses.
For example, if you’re not interested in a match that was found for you, you can swipe left for “nah.” HILARIOUS! It also asks if you’d like to turn your notifications on so that you won’t miss any messages from bae (as in your match). You can find matches up to 400 miles away from your location and you can also set your age and gender preferences. If you’re looking for an out of town bae, it’s not going to work unless you’re near that city. For example me being in Mississippi, I wouldn’t have a Houston match. I was surprised to see white guys in my matches…there was even one that was in his early 50s! So if you’re into interracial dating, there is a possibility that you can find that on BAE as well.