The concept of swiping left just got a twist via AfriDate, a dating app designed specifically for people of the African Diaspora. Creator Amanda Spann and her silent business partner launched AfriDate in June with the intention of incorporating culture-specific dating experiences and traditions that appeal to people of African descent around the world.
“We wanted to create a tool that would enable people to find someone who shared that connection in proximity to them, or alternatively, if they’re interested in long distance dating, they can facilitate that as well,” Spann told CASSIUS.
AfriDate has some similar user features to Tinder, but it’s especially geared toward first generation immigrants, expats, global citizens and digital nomads who may be far away from home, but still seek to find partners from similar backgrounds. One of its biggest features is that you can search for eligible Black singles by nationality or ethnicity.
“We always have to be mindful with our messaging and everything we do because Black people aren’t monolithic, and I think one thing that we saw is that a lot of the dating platforms out there lump Black people all together, as if we all [have] the same skin, we all have the same preferences, as if we all share the same dating and cultural norms and that’s not true,” says Spann.
Spann, who has a background in public relations, shifted her career from entertainment to tech, where she began learning about how to get an app made. The Jacksonville, Fla. native, who is currently based in Chicago, spent some time traveling around the world doing business development, launching app-a-thons, and fostering invaluable relationships in the digital space.
Spann’s business partner and good friend is Nigerian. The pair came up with the idea for AfriDate after being inspired by conversations about their respective experiences—that of an African-American woman who dates a variety of men, and that of a Nigerian-American woman who feels familial pressure to date esoterically.
“[We] were interested in creating a dating tool and we were talking about her experiences being a Nigerian woman, and the pressure she feels from her family to date within her tribe, a man of her nationality or just a particular type of man, and then alternatively me, as an African American—I’ve dated lots of Nigerians and men from across the Caribbean, across the continent of Africa, and how our dating experiences vary,” says Spann. “We just kind of came across some solutions that we thought met in the middle and made a lot of sense for the way the world is changing. I’m a little more savvy through the experiences of especially first generation immigrants.”
Other features of AfriDate include upgrades that allow unlimited swipes or matches, and new additions that will roll out in the next few weeks. Spann and her partner are still collecting data to determine how people are using the fledgling app with the goal of building a community where people of color can focus on finding love and building meaningful relationships.
“We hope that people use this app for messages to connect with one another, get each other’s phone numbers to take the conversation offline,” says Spann. “Really explore each other as individuals.”
AfriDate is available on the App Store or Google Play.