OPW INTERVIEW - Nov 30 - Adam Cohen-Aslatei recently became Chappy's new Managing Director. (see news). A Harvard grad with 5 years at The Meet Group, he's powering up Chappy to become a leader in the gay dating space. - Mark Brooks
What brought you to Chappy and why do you want to help grow Chappy?
I've always been interested in networking and relationship building. Back when I was in graduate school I started a speed dating event series backed by an algorithmic technology. The majority of my career has focused on advertising technology and dating, so when this opportunity was presented, to reinvent and redefine gay dating, I jumped at the chance.
This mission is very personal for me. I came out later in life and I wish I had had access to an app like this. I believe everyone in our community deserves a better way to meet new people and build relationships in an environment that uplifts and empowers. This is the foundation and ambition of Chappy.
What is the most frustrating pain point in online gay dating?
Over and over we hear stories from guys about encountering discrimination, cat-fishing, or just general bad treatment on gay dating apps. Endless torso scrolling and anonymous profiles lead to a lack of accountability and a feeling of being in the shadows. All of our profiles feature a face and a name. Our bios are descriptive and we have a zero tolerance for hate and discrimination. All Chappy members sign a pledge to treat people with kindness and respect. All profiles are verified, stamping out cat-fishing. In a nutshell, we provide a clean environment from which to build relationships with real people.
Can you tell us about the new "Cute & Sexy" scale, and what it does to empower users?
The scale allows our guy to find the type of relationship he's looking for. The type of experience doesn't define the guy, and the same guy may want something Sexy one day and something Cute the next. We consider "Sexy" something that's bold and adventurous, that can be short term or not, but always memorable. Something "Cute" is sweet and could go the distance. This mood based scale empowers our community to find what they're looking for without judgement. We want to help gay guys find great, meaningful relationships for now, or forever.
How is Chappy working to be an ally for the LGBT community?
From the beginning, Chappy's mission included a commitment to building a stronger community. We take that mission seriously and we put our money where our mouth is. We recently started a new partnerships with GLAAD, which has become a fixture of our app, called Chats for Charity. Chappy will make a donation for each new chat session initiated on our platform - and these funds will help support global gay voices. So not only are we building real relationships within our community each day, but our members are also helping the community at-large.
We are finalizing a number of additional partnerships with organizations that build awareness, tolerance, and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, and look forward to announcing them soon.
Can you tell us a bit about Chats for Charity and how it works?
Chats for Charity is an easy way for our community to engage with our product while also supporting global gay voices. For each new chat sessions initiated on the platform, Chappy will make a donation to GLAAD. The funds are unrestricted, meaning that GLAAD has the flexibility to allocate them to both urgent issues and long term projects. We need to work together, individuals and companies, if we ever want to end discrimination, intolerance, and prejudice.
What does Chappy do to make sure user are safe to keep the community authentic?
All profiles are verified and profile pictures must contain a face. All of our members must sign the Chappy Pledge, a pact to be kind and respectful, and a vow to not discriminate. We elevate the barrier to register on the app, but that means that guys who are serious about meeting other guys and building meaningful relationships are on the app.
Our algorithm finds the best match for you and a mutual match must occur before anyone starts chatting, increasing the quality of the potential connection. I am always impressed to find such high quality guys on the app, amazing artists, Ivy League students, doctors, advocates, athletes and adventure seekers to name a few. Every kind of guy is on the app, and that's what makes our community so amazing.
What advice would you give to new Chappy user?
I would tell him to be honest, open and authentic. Whether he is looking for something fun and immediate or long term and lasting, he deserves to be treated with respect and with kindness. I believe that we each have a responsibility in our community to uplift each other and treat others the way we want to be treated. Now get ready to meet a great guy!