BLK's new profile stickers.BLK/Insider
Black dating app BLK is launching a new range of profile stickers.
They include "Caribbean Descent," "Afro Latino," and "Black Biz Owner."
Insider got an early look at the stickers before their expected launch Monday.
In the fast-paced world of dating apps, users have mere seconds to stand out to a potential match. Photos are the main draw but this means would-be dates often base decisions on looks alone.
It's why many dating apps have introduced profile stickers to help catch the eye, and why BLK, a dating app for Black singles, is to launch its own.
Insider was given a sneak peek of BLK's new stickers ahead of their expected launch Monday. They include "Caribbean Descent," "Black Biz Owner," and "Afro Latino."
"We're doing stickers that really are endemic with the culture and the community that you might not see on other apps. So, think natural hair, dreadlocks, Caribbean descent, Afro Latino," Jonathan Kirkland, BLK's head of marketing, said. "Mainstream apps probably wouldn't go so deep into this level of representation."
The 30 new BLK stickers were designed by Colombian-born, New York-based artist Leonel Gonzalez. Designs were based on surveys of BLK users, the majority of whom are Gen Z or millennials aged between 18 and 35.
Kirkland said BLK's new "Poly" sticker came about when the company realized it had a large number of polyamorous users, despite polyamory being a topic often not discussed in the Black community.
Kirkland said he hopes the stickers will reflect the community the app has built in recent years. He said that in the summer of 2020, the app effectively functioned as a crowd-sourced digital resource hub for the racial justice awakening that swept the world following the murder of George Floyd.
The trend of introducing stickers to dating apps picked up during the pandemic, especially badges to signal one's vaccinated status. On OkCupid, for example, you can add a pro-choice label on your profile, while Bumble users can let fellow singletons know they're teetotal.
BLK is part of Match Group, which also owns Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid.
Kirkland said he hoped the new BLK stickers would soon feature on t-shirts, hats, and other merchandise. "We're a dating app at our core, but throughout this year and next we're going to be moving more into the lifestyle space," Kirkland said.
Singles grew weary of dating apps during the pandemic, leading many to seek in-person meets instead. New apps have taken the cue by facilitating in-person events.
BLK hosted virtual homecomings during the pandemic but is now planning an in-person concert-cum-convention for Juneteenth, the US holiday commemorating the freedom of enslaved African Americans.
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