“The greater mission there is if we can make [interracial dating] less of a taboo, if we can bring people together, if we can get that conversation out there and stand for something positive, that’s great,” he said.
“I want to believe that the reason this will continue to grow and take off and expand, the reason why this is happening is because race relations are getting better.
When that doesn’t happen, it can create a terrible experience for certain groups of people.
Apps made due to frustration with the Tinder experience include Bumble, made specifically for women, and Bae, for African Americans. knowledge his company has accrued may be applied to Color Dating someday, but for now, it’s an app that was made in a weekend.
Tran said he wants Color Dating to remove the taboo that some people still feel about interracial dating and to make life easier for people, like a friend Tran grew up with in Seattle who likes black men but whose father said he’d disown her if she dated someone black.
He hopes the app will help users in less tolerant parts of the country who said they feel ostracized by their community for dating outside their race.
Compared to the artificial intelligence-driven product Tran used to work on, Color Dating is no technological feat. Plenty of dating apps already allow you to state a racial preference, but Color Dating’s main draw is community, he said, bringing together people who don’t mind or who prefer interracial dating.
After three months, Color Dating has nearly 40,000 user profiles.
While that used to be a source of “growing frustration” for Tran, today, he believes attraction can be a subconscious amalgamation of upbringing, environment, and other factors, and that people should be allowed to express their preferences when looking for love.After being selected for Y Combinator’s 2014 class and working on creating an artificial intelligence-fueled chatbot, Vu Tran decided three months ago to scrap that project and create Color Dating, an app for interracial dating.It’s been said that when entrepreneurs create something, they are often their own target audience, and for Tran it was a personal pivot.Originally born in Vietnam, Tran has lived in black neighborhoods in Newark and Tennessee, a predominantly Russian neighborhood in Seattle, and parts of rural Indiana.These experiences led to more understanding, and Tran thinks that conversations with people from many races can help others, too.“I think if we encourage it, if people intermingle, and people get to know each other as human beings more, even if people match with each other and didn’t have any intentions of dating, just having a conversation with another person, I think that does a lot to humanize the other side, and I think that does a lot for race relations,” he said.Vu Tran was frustrated with traditional dating apps.At the same time, he knew friends who were attracted to men and women outside of their own race, but they felt like it was too taboo to pursue anything because of pressure from parents or other reasons.Color Dating aims to facilitate more positive messages around interracial dating.An analysis of five years of Ok Cupid data found that Asian men and African American men and women have the hardest time with online dating. “Beauty is a cultural idea as much as a physical one, and the standard is, of course, set by the dominant culture.I believe that’s what you see in the data here,” said Ok Cupid Christian Rudder in a 2014 blog post.