Let’s face it: Dating is hard enough. While most of the action has moved from the gay bar to any number of dating and social apps, new technology has introduced a whole set of new problems and pitfalls while finding your Prince Charming.
Luckily, a new app is out to help you avoid kissing so many frogs along the way.
Chappy (available on iOS and Google Play) has been helping men find more meaningful connections by allowing users to specify upfront if they’re looking for “Mr. Right” or “Mr. Right Now” and moderating profiles to include valid face photos. However, it’s not what users are including in their profiles that sets Chappy apart; it’s what’s not there — racism, ableism, ageism and discrimination.
“At Chappy we believe beauty is found in the way you treat others. Discrimination by race, religion, disability, gender identity, age or anything else is strictly forbidden. By using Chappy, users commit to treating their fellow members with respect, kindness and honesty, without judgment or bias.”
Or, more simply put, “Don’t be a d*ck.” The result is a much more pleasant (and less infuriating) dating experience, blissfully browsing authentic profiles without fear.
Check out how users reacted to the pledge in the video below:
We spoke to the app’s founders — reality-TV star Ollie Locke, Badoo co-founder Max Cheremkhin and mobile marketing expert Jack Rogers — about the inspiration of the pledge and how they made it central to Chappy’s mission.
Why was it important for you to include the pledge in the app?
We care about the community, and we want people to enjoy dating, not feel alienated. From our market research, we found that people weren’t being respectful on gay dating apps and we wanted to get in front the issue and address it. Chappy is a space in which you can celebrate your differences.
What was the process like writing the pledge?
The Pledge was a team project, born from experiences and research. We drew on the strengths of everyone in the team – having a diverse company helped shape The Pledge creatively, but it also ensured it had real nuance in market. We interviewed 40 diverse gay men and simply listened to their stories. It was cathartic and, empowering, we really wanted to change the existing market offering and give the community something new, something valuable. We finally chose 16 men, took the concept to production house, Pink Banana, which helped us produce the final product.
Has anything surprised you about the response to the pledge from users?
It’s a bold move in our space – so we weren’t surprised by the response. However, we were surprised by how quickly it happened. We received a huge amount of heartwarming messages and heartbreaking stories. People suddenly saw an alternative, they were grateful and that was especially emotional for us. It helped motivate us to push The Pledge as far as we could. Without sharing personal stories there was just a sense of relief and gratitude for what we are trying to do.
How do you think the pledge will change how users interact on Chappy vs. other dating/social apps?
That’s the idea that underpins The Chappy Pledge – we’re actively doing what we can to stamp out all ‘isms’ on our platform. Ageism, fatism, racism – all of them. However, we accept we may never eradicate prejudice from within the gay community, we are, as a brand taking steps to protect people from having to even see profiles with sexual ‘preferences’. We believe listing these ‘preferences’ is inherently discriminatory and there is no place for discrimination on Chappy. It’s why we have banned all racial preferences within users profiles – even those that may be deemed positive. We hope that spreads into how people treat people, in general, including other platforms.