Earlier this year we interviewed the executives at the gay app Jack’d who candidly discussed their intentions to lead conversations within the gay community to combat negativity, racism, and sexism.
“We have a responsibility to represent their [Jack’d user’s] interests, and are fully committed to addressing racism within the gay community,” shared Jack’d execs when they announced their support of DeRay Mckesson, the prominent #BlackLivesMatter activist who is openly gay and who ran for Mayor of Baltimore earlier this year.
At that time Jack’d also announced their plans for a social media campaign to #ChangeTheGame. The mission with #ChangeTheGame is to tackle issues of gender, sexuality, race, dating and self-empowerment head-on by initiating candid conversations on social media and within their app as a way to lead the conversation and to give voice to those who have gone unheard for too long.
On September 14, with the topic of Kindness, they launched the #ChangeTheGame campaign so we reached out to see how it was going. Driven by users, the idea for the campaign was spearheaded by Kevin Letourneau, former Director of Marketing at Jack’d, who we interviewed back in April. Community members had been and continue to ask for changes and for these very conversations and they seem to be proud that the company is one of if not the first one to take a stand and take significant, proactive measures to address the issues and engage the community.
Although it is a team effort, Russell Horsey a social media specialist at Jack’d has taken over the workload for the campaign. As we talked with Russell it was evident there is engagement with the campaign. App users and the public are responding positively. He shared that some of last week’s conversation related to the general role, function, and purpose of social hook-up apps and how they are perceived. Users are on apps like Jack’d for different reasons, not just for meeting to have sex. Perhaps there may be a need for developers of hook-up apps to reconsider there purpose and what they deliver.
We asked if there has been any change in their user demographics or behavior since their April announcement but Jack’d users remain pretty diverse with about 40% of their subscriber base being African-American or Latino/Hispanic.
Comments are coming in and engagement is taking place. One of this week’s posts to the app’s Instagram page asked the question, “What kind of value do you think our society places on kindness?”
Users are also engaging within the app itself:
In all fairness, back in April we were skeptical. But Jack’d is proving itself to be a leader and to being committed to developing and nurturing an inclusive environment not only within their app but within the larger community. So we encourage you to engage with the #ChangeTheGame campaign:
- Use the hashtag #changethegame
- Comment everywhere on social media
- Follow the app on social media
- If you’re a Jack’d user, comment and post within the app
If you didn’t get a chance to participate last week or the topic of Kindness didn’t resonate with you, check out the upcoming weeks’ topics and find another time to participate:
- Week 1- Kindness (launched September 14)
- Week 2- Hooking Up
- Week 3- Changing your Routine
- Week 4- Labels
- Week 5- Acceptance / Tolerance / Racism
- Week 6- Self Esteem
- Week 7- Sexual Health
- Week 8- Activism / Community