Launched in the summer of 2017, BLK was created by the Match Group — the parent company of other dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid — with young Black singles specifically in mind. Since then, BLK’s been downloaded more than 4 million times and has become the fastest growing app in the Match Group family, which the app’s Head of Marketing and Brand Jonathan Kirkland said “speaks to the fact that BLK was something that the community needed and wanted.”

Granted, Kirkland said that amidst this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, BLK’s main focus has shifted this past year from “just dating” to building a community hub where Black singles can connect and feel supported, all while having an “outlet for these big conversations” with others who understand the true depth and scope of these ongoing discussions.

“With a lot of other dating apps and general market apps, the focus on Black people and Blackness only happens when there’s an issue like BLM or George Floyd or Breonna Taylor,” as Kirkland explained. “And even with those, it’s only the big ones that make the news. It’s not the local man who was shot that didn’t make it to CNN.”

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