Gay dating and social connection app Chappy today announced a major relaunch and rebranding.
The Chappy redesign sees the app’s monochrome color scheme replaced with ‘Post-Millennial Peach’ and ‘Modern Maroon’.
Previously, users could say whether they were seeking ‘Mr Right’ or ‘Mr Right Now’. ‘Cute’ and ‘Sexy’ moods now respectively replace those two options.
Beyond the cosmetic changes, the app’s mission to provide a safe platform for gay and bi men to connect drives the relaunch, say its makers.
Chappy launched in early 2017 with a concentrated roll-out in London, New York and Los Angeles.
Ollie Locke (of Made in Chelsea fame), Jack Rogers and Max Cheremkhin originally founded the app. Backing comes from dating app Badoo, with advisory backing from Whitney Wolfe Herd, the co-founder of Tinder and CEO of dating app, Bumble.
Last month, Chappy announced Locke and Rogers were stepping down. Succeeding them is Sam Dumas as Global Head of Brand. Dumas has spent the past four years at Conde Nast, leading experience marketing for Vanity Fair and W magazine.
In a press statement, Chappy announced it has been working closely with Bumble on its redesign and strategy. Besides Whitney Wolfe Herd, this includes Andrey Andreev, the technologist behind both Badoo and Bumble.
A spokesperson for the Chappy told GSN the app has 630,000 registered users.
Sam Dumas now heads a management team based at Chappy’s new New York City HQ.
‘At its heart, Chappy is engineered to empower gay men to form positive, healthy relationships based in kindness and mutual respect, and that’s something I’m extremely passionate about,’ said Dumas.
‘Collaborating with tech titans like Andrey and Whitney is an incredible opportunity. I’m honored to be a part of what’s going to be an inspiring next chapter for the brand.’
‘Much like Bumble, Chappy is committed to providing its users with a safe, welcoming and empowered experience and that sets it apart from any other app in the gay dating space, added Wolfe Herd.
‘We don’t allow discriminatory language or behaviour’
Chappy says it will now have, ‘zero tolerance for abuse or bullying of any kind. Users reported for violating Chappy’s terms and conditions risk a permanent ban from the app.’
Dumas told GSN more about its ‘zero tolerance’ policy. Would this include someone stating ‘No Asians’ or ‘whites only’ in their profile?
‘We don’t allow discriminatory language or behaviour on the app,’ said Dumas.
‘Blatant prejudice masked as preference is something we take seriously in an effort to maintain a safe, respectful community of users online. All reported cases go through a review process which can result in a permanent ban or a warning.
‘In an effort to keep users safe and our community authentic, every Chappy user must have their face in their profile photos, which reduces catfishing and keeps communication more transparent. We also introduced screenshot warnings in order to protect people’s private conversations. As a result, we have the lowest reporting and blocking averages in the industry,’ he claimed.
Tackling app safety
App safety has become a big issue in recent years. Many users of apps designed to connect gay men have reported bullying, abusive messages, racism and body shaming. Chappy is not the only app that has recently announced plans to encourage a more supportive environment.
Chappy’s announcement comes just days before Grindr launches its ‘Kindr’ initiative. Details are not yet available, but the app – now owned by Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech – has been teasing the initiative for the past few weeks. It launches 19 September.
‘Our upcoming ‘Kindr’ initiative, which is built around education, awareness and specific policy changes in the Grindr app, will serve as the first step of many Grindr will be taking to help foster a more inclusive and respectful community on our platform,’ said a spokesperson last month.
Scruff, which launched in 2010 announced last week that it was no longer going to force users to include their ethnicity on their profiles. Until now, other users could filter search results by ethnicity.
Addressing the change, Scruff co-founder Eric Silverberg said, ‘We recognize that the queer community of color faces discrimination and racism as part of their regular lives. It is why Scruff is the only platform that vigorously enforces its community guidelines to ensure that harassment, racism and abuse doesn’t happen, and if it does it is dealt with swiftly.’