Butterfly for Trans Daters Launches in India

  • Friday, February 21 2020 @ 07:42 am
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UK-based dating app Butterfly, catering specifically to transgendered daters, has just launched in India, according to Quartz.

India is becoming a hot market for the dating app industry and is a big focus for Match Group and Bumble, who have launched high-profile campaigns to promote their dating apps in the country, including investing in celebrity partnerships and hiring regional managers. 

However, transgendered daters are finding it hard to find love on dating apps, especially in India, even as they take off.

“It was clear that an app that put transgender folk first would have a place in the crowded marketing of online dating,” Butterfly claimed on its website when it first launched in the UK in October.

Transgendered daters are arguably a slim population, especially in conservative countries like India, where there are estimated to be about 500,000 trans people compared to a population of 1.3 billion. On Butterfly however, their representation is high, providing them a better opportunity to meet more potential dates.

It’s also a place where trans daters aren’t met with offensive terms from other users such as “ladyboy” or “she-male,” as is typical on the more popular dating apps. Trans daters are gravitating to this more inclusive approach.

Users can choose from a comprehensive selection of 24 gender definitions (such as “gender questioning” or “male-to-female transgender”) and 10 sexuality options (including “bisexual” or “straight”), and these can be changed at any time. 

India has special considerations, since the country had at one time criminalized homosexuality, and there isn’t widespread acceptance of non-binary gender or trans daters. As a result, Butterfly has added some additional safety features for users in India, including no forced linking to social media accounts, allowing users to crop their photos to hide their faces or opt out of posting photos altogether, requiring no personal information to set up their accounts aside from an email, erasing private messages from their servers after 30 days, no GPS tracking (instead, the locations are approximated when stored in the app so you can see distances, but the app doesn’t know or reveal your exact location), providing encrypted passwords, and offering pre-approved user names to choose from so daters don’t have to use their full names to identify themselves on the app.  

Butterfly has over 42,000 users across two dozen countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, the UK and the US. It debuted in India this month.