Down App Overview
The Down App advertises itself as a dating app that “makes it fun and easy to get dates or get down wherever, whenever”.
One specific point of difference between the Down App and other, similar dating apps is that it only connects members with people within their Facebook friend network (unlike some alternative dating apps that connects users with other users that are nearby). This is because the Down App, which was previously known as Bang With Friends, was built on the notion that people should “go out there, live, and find friends with benefits”.
Once a user’s account is set-up, they can go through their Facebook friends list – which includes friends of friends, including people who aren’t currently members of the Down App – and rate them by either: swiping left for “not interested”, swiping up for “get date”, and swiping down for “get down” (which basically means have sex).
If two members signal that they’re both interested in the same thing, then the app sends a notification of a match. The members are then able to message one another and coordinate a rendezvous.
Features For Parental Caution:
18+ with no age verification
Shares location even when not active on app
Contains ads & in-app purchases
Shares private media
Permissions allow app to access images, and view browsing history & device information
Contains mild sexual content and nudity & profanity
What Parents Should Know About the Down App
“The Secret Way To Get Down Or Date With People Nearby!”
Although it’s classified as being a dating app, the Down App is also little more than a hookup app. While the intention of this review is not to vilify hookup apps in general; it’s important for parents to be aware of the very real concerns that such apps can raise for teenagers.
The Down App is not designed for teenagers, nor does it claim to be. Yet the reality is that it’s not difficult for under-18’s to gain access to it, given that the only age verification step is to sign up through Facebook (and we know that kids can easily lie about their age when signing up for Facebook).
Adolescent children that are active on the Down App can become exposed to sexually explicit or suggestive content, nudity, and profanity. Their location will be shared with other users, and they will be rated by other users as either dateable or “bangable”. In fact, users are given a “bangability” score which is determined by how many people view their profile and state that they are interested in meeting for a date or for “getting down”.
As an added concern, adolescent children could become emboldened by the app and swipe down on someone that is older than them; or the whole process of swiping down could become an exciting and daring game. Teenagers are on the cusp of adulthood and like to test boundaries. Yet, the risk of gamifying hookup apps is that it makes young people vulnerable and accessible to older users with bad or questionable intentions – ranging from sexual assault to abduction and murder.
How The Down App Works
According to DownApp.com, the Down App is fairly straightforward to use:
1. Get The Down App: Sign in with Facebook so we know you’re real (don’t worry – it’s discreet)!
2. Select Sexy People: They won’t know until they select you, too.
3. Get dates or get down: Once we know you’re both interested, we’ll send a notification – when and where to meet is up to you!
In this technological day and age, online dating apps are a legitimate way to connect with other people and explore one’s own sexuality. In the context of consenting adults, hookup apps are not inherently bad or taboo things. That being said, app makers have a responsibility to ensure that apps that are explicitly for adults to use have a more stringent age verification process.
It’s natural and normal for teenagers to become curious about sex, and begin to explore their own sexuality. However, a healthy and safe sexual relationship seldom starts with a swipe which is given on the basis of a photo. Anything that encourages the overt sexualisation of a teenager is dangerous – and we, therefore, recommend this app remains strictly 18+.
Dating apps that are designed with adults in mind are far from the safest way for teens to be introduced to the world of dating. If your teenager wants to get the Down App on their phone – or even if they mention that one of their friends has it on their phone – then it’s probably time for a conversation. A few things you may want to cover are:
The risks associated: If you think it’s appropriate, it might be worth discussing how apps like the Down App can be used by dangerous people
Why they want to have the Down App? Perhaps work together to see if there are any alternative and more age-appropriate dating apps for teens