When dating app Bang with Friends launched in 2013, it quickly became more popular than Tinder and Plenty of Fish. After rebranding as DOWN, the dating app still continues to serve more than 10 million users.
Bang with Friends (BWF) surpassed 1 million users 3 months after its initial launch, raising over $1 million in a funding round. Following this growth, the platform rebranded to the “less salacious” DOWN.
BWF was unique due to its straight to the point honesty, acting as a ‘Facebook dating app’ which allowed users to choose which friends they’d like to hook up with. However, the DOWN rebrand brought new features while keeping the straightforward concept the same.
By 2016, DOWN created the three-directional format for its swiping where a LEFT swipe meant not interested, a swipe UP meant interested in dating, and a swipe DOWN meant interested in a casual hookup.
DOWN’s customisation and openness regarding hookups and relationships alike, brought “other apps down this path”. The platform credits itself with inspiring Tinder’s shift towards facilitating more meaningful relationships, as well as hookups.
Along the way, DOWN has introduced new features to its platform including:
- 3Some: This feature pairs users open to threesome hookups or polyamorous relationships.
- Snap Match: When users tap the ‘Spin’ button, they’ll be instantly paired with a random person who fits their preferences. However, this person can be anywhere in the world.
- Highlights: These add-on sticks help users’ profiles stand out among the crowd, allowing them to express their personality, bedroom behaviours, and romantic preferences.
- Icebreakers: To reduce the early awkwardness of a new match, DOWN enables users to play a casual game together. These include ‘Would You Rather’ and more.
From 2019 onwards, the app has seen continual growth. Since Q4 of 2019, DOWN users are matching with 5 times as many people. Furthermore the company’s revenue has grown by 250%, with the number of downloads doubling.
According to research in 2021, DOWN recorded more new downloads than eHarmony and HER, not far behind Match, OkCupid, and Grindr. The platform shares that “The future looks bright for DOWN. Which is very good news for the future of online dating”.