Say hello to Colin Hodge, the co-founder of Bang With Friends

Colin Hodge Bang With Friends

Perhaps you’ve heard of the notorious dating app Bang With Friends. Yeah, it’s that one that lets you pick Facebook friends you wanna do the dirty with, and if said friends picked you too, the app will pair you up for the deed. Since its launch earlier this year, the identities of the co-founders have remained a mystery. Every correspondence we’ve ever had with Bang With Friends came through an anonymous developer who went by “C,” and little has been made public about the guys behind the app. 

That is, until Internet Week New York came around.

At the Webutante Ball, an Internet Week-sponsored nerd prom if you will, the two Bang With Friends co-founders were nominated as Webutante King. That’s when Colin Hodge and Omri Mor‘s names were accidentally released as part of the online ballot. “We’re not so much upset – disappointed is a better word,” Hodge, the 28-year-old software developer, tells us. “We had planned on doing it other ways and we were able to keep it secret for a while. So to have it leak out like that is not how we envisioned it.”

The idea for Bang With Friends came after Hodge’s initial project: A dating site called HeardAboutYou. The service shares the same mentality as BWF in the belief that successful couples often meet via people they know, so Hodge linked up with Mor to simplify the idea into a Facebook app.

So, what’s with all the clandestine app releasing?

Bang With NYC“The first day that we launched it, we got 10,000 sign ups and we realized this was going to be huge,” he says. “We made the decision to not let people focus on us personally and instead on the product. I’m really happy we did this because now we’re over a million users and we have more stability.”

Hodge and Mor’s identities may be been unveiled prematurely, but now they’re taking the opportunity to continue promoting hyper-local iterations of the app. Just like the duo did at South by Southwest, they’re planning to launch an Internet Week-inspired Bang With NYC along with an opening party downtown. The event will allow fans, horny singles, or curious users to meet and hang out with the co-founders, and of course, perhaps snag a one night stand. Hodge is all business. At the Webutante Ball, he was more than willing to promote BWF while silent partner Mor roamed the party, providing no interviews but instead commentary on the club’s music.

“Coming out of anonymity doesn’t change our product vision. This allowed us to meet people that we wanted to, but overall we still want to offer the most honest way to meet somebody,” Hodge says. In person, he doesn’t come off like some wannabe pimp or pornographer. The software developer genuinely wants to hook people up and if long term dating results from the bang, then everyone wins. 

Still, no matter how Hodge puts it, Bang With Friends can still be awkward or feel unnatural. Is telling your Facebook friends you’d be down to hit that via an anonymous app really as organic as the hit-and-miss luck in “real world” dating?

“I think a lot of our generation’s already dating online, we’re just giving them a better tool to do it,” Hodge reasons. “When there’s context around this person or it’s somebody you know already, then it feels safer meeting them.”

The Internet’s developed a solid reputation for solving the world’s problems; if nothing else, Hodge and Mor have used it to solve another one. 

Product Review

It's not a spy, but you still won't want to friend Facebook's Portal+

Facebook has jumped into the smart home game with the Portal+, a video-calling device featuring an Amazon Alexa speaker and a screen. While it has lots of cool calling features, we’re weary of Facebook taking up counter space in our home.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

This startup will sequence your entire genome for free — but there’s a catch

Want to get your DNA sequenced but don’t want to shell out the hundred bucks or so to do so? A new startup called Nebula Genomics offers you the opportunity to have it done for free.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.
Social Media

Facebook is rolling out a Messenger ‘unsend’ feature, and here’s how to use it

Facebook is starting to roll out a "remove message" feature for its Messenger app. It lets you delete a message in a thread within 10 minutes of sending it, and replaces it with a note telling recipients that it's been removed.
Social Media

Going incognito: Here's how to appear offline on Facebook

How do you make sure your friends and family can't see if you're on Facebook, even if you are? Here, we'll show you how to turn off your active status on three different platforms, so you can browse Facebook without anyone knowing.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Social Media

Why an American named John Lewis gets lots of Twitter hassle from Brits

Spare a thought for Twitter user John Lewis. When he signed up as @johnlewis soon after the app launched in 2006, little did he know what he was letting himself in for. Clue: There's a U.K. department store called John Lewis.
Social Media

Instagram purges fake followers, likes, and comments generated from other apps

Instagram looking a little more authentic? You can thank machine learning. A new tool is helping Instagram spot followers, likes and comments generated from third-party apps -- and this is just the start.