If you haven’t fully yet embraced the bearded trend, you might want to reconsider. We’re going into the colder months of the year a beard is a natural way to keep warm. However, you also might want to reconsider growing that beard for another reason: it’s a highly valued asset in the dating market. Enter: Tinder for beards.
There are so many dating apps nowadays, to the point where it’s nearly impossible to keep track or keep up with. Since the launch of Tinder in 2012, where swiping right or left has become a cultural symbol of digital rejection, many more niche dating apps have launched: there’s Raya (Tinder for rich people), Bumble (feminist Tinder), Hinge (Tinder for friends of friends), Mix’d (Tinder for people who have the same taste in music), and the app the started all of them, Grindr (for gay, bisexual and bi-curious men).
The most recent app to be added to this strange mix is Bristlr, a.k.a. Tinder for beards, with the accompanying tagline: “Connecting those with beards to those who want to stroke beards”. The Next Web reported that the app actually started as a joke but quickly gained traction in the media, which resulted in more than 100,000 newly registered users in less than four weeks. The 28-year-old freelance developer from Manchester, England, John Kershaw, originally built the website for fun after initially suggesting the idea on Facebook and receiving positive responses from friends.
“When I posted the question on my Facebook page, my friends said they thought it was a really good idea,” Kershaw says. “So I made this fake landing site where people could sign up to this app that didn’t really exist, just because I was curious to see how far people would go with it. After 100 people signed up in four days, I thought there must be some scope.”
It only makes sense that Bristlr would come along. We have reached a juncture where dating apps can hand pick, or at least pursue, people that fit into our unique relationship needs. Now, if a woman is specifically looking for a bearded man, she need not continuously swipe left in order to come across one.
So far, the site is predominately being used by women to meet their bearded heroes, but Kernshaw estimates that between 2 and 4 percent of the users are gay. Another interesting tidbit about the app, some men simply use it to meet other men whom they can share beard-grooming tips with.
“It’s lighthearted, you can’t take it too seriously, which I think is really appealing to people” Kershaw said to the Daily Mail. “I think it’s the fact that instead of it being this serious business like, ‘Hey, if you click this button, we’re going to do this serious thing,’ it’s more like, ‘Hey, I like your beard.'” So it’s kind of like a light hearted Tinder that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
In an attempt to stay along the lines of keeping things light, the app requires minimal information from its users; however, the app does keep track of users who have beards versus those users who just plain ‘ol love beards, with the current ratio being about 50:50.
“We don’t track whether people are male or female,” Kershaw says. “Just whether or not they have a beard or they are looking for someone with a beard. We track the important stuff.” So, whether you’re a woman who is looking for a man with a beard or you’re just looking for some good beard grooming tips, this app is for you.