How a Niche Dating App Made 120 Million Matches Among Latin Singles
By: Ashayla Blakely / DatingNews.com
The Scoop: People have so many different online dating apps available to them now. Whether they are pet lovers or gym enthusiasts, singles looking for love can find a supportive niche community that caters to their interests. The dating app Chispa serves the Latino community in the U.S. and has 120 million matches to its name, making it a credible source for Latin singles to find their perfect match. Over the last few years, Chispa has become the go-to app made for Latinos in the U.S.
Trying online dating apps for the first time may sound a little intimidating. A new online dater may not know where to start or what to expect. That’s why it’s important to understand that community is a big part of exploring dating apps. When joining a dating app, it’s best to observe the app’s community and conclude whether it’s the best fit for you. After all, you don’t want to join a dating app that’s a community of dog lovers when you’re more of a cat person — your fellow cat lovers are waiting for you on other apps.
Niche dating apps can help singles avoid going through an endless amount of trial and error when swiping on profiles. Inspired by Hispanic culture, the Chispa dating app supports an inclusive community for all Latin singles to connect, meet, and chat. Latin singles can come as themselves and share their life experiences and appreciation for their Latin roots while trying to find love on Chispa.
In 2017, Chispa was created as an offshoot of the dating service Match Affinity, a division of Match Group, which owns Match, Tinder, Hinge, and other online dating apps.
According to Julia Estacolchic, Director of Brand Marketing for Match Affinity, the goal with Chispa was to cater to the Latino community in the U.S. with an app where they felt like they belonged. The app is available in both Spanish and English, and it has created a diverse community that is inclusive of people who speak both languages and come from diverse backgrounds and roots. The team has adjusted the app to fit the needs of the community as time progressed, making it more user-friendly for every member.
The number of daily Chispa users increased by 18% from 2020 to 2021, and that success is a testament to the hard work and heart of this Latin-led team. “Our efforts tailor to different subgroups that are a part of the Latino community in the U.S. While it’s a diverse community, we also have a lot of things we have in common that unite us as a community. We celebrate those similarities and the differences that we have,” Julia said.
Over 5.5 Million Downloads in the U.S. Alone
Chispa has created over 120 million matches and has been downloaded over 5.5 million times in the U.S., which is where 90% of the user base resides. Looking at the numbers, it’s fair to say that Chispa has rightfully gained the title as the number one Latino dating app in the U.S. Chispa’s mission is to create an exclusive community where all Latinos can find meaningful connections with people who share similar likes and interests.
But how does Chispa work? Similar to the dating app Tinder, members can swipe left and right to find a match. Chispa has filters that include age, gender, and proximity for finding potential matches as well as profile fields that allow members to share more about themselves. Julia told us that the team recently added a feature that allows members to choose up to three top preferences. Based on those established preferences, the app offers personalized groups of profiles that meet the user’s standards. “Super Great Site, #1 in my book! On the first day of installing the app, I received messages from many beautiful women in my area. I messaged back and have spent the last two days speaking with an incredible woman, and we already made plans to meet this weekend. Gracias Chispa!” said a Chispa user in a review.
Anybody can use the app at no charge. As soon as singles join, they get access to features that help them customize who and what they are looking for. They are allowed to chat with other members who also like them back. Members who want to upgrade their membership have two options: Premium and Elite. Premium members benefit from the Profile Boost feature which highlights their profile in the swiper deck, making them more visible for more possible matches. They also get to send unlimited likes to other members, have uninterrupted experiences with no ads, and can spend five Super Chispas likes per day to let people know they’re interested. A Super Chispa is a super like you can send to someone to show interest. Elite membership is the highest membership available. It includes all the features with premium benefits to see who likes your profile for instant matches.
Celebrating Shared Roots & Diverse Lifestyles
According to Chispa, Latin culture is the DNA of Chispa, and Latinos are the backbone of Latin culture. There is no Chispa without the culture. Celebrating shared roots and a diverse lifestyle is at the heart of Chispa. Julia told us that Chispa helps build community and unity through shared culture. Its mission goes beyond just finding a local date. The team discovered that 34% of users go to the app to meet new friends.
Chispa is made up of Latin men and women from different backgrounds and ages. Julia shared that 80% of users are between the ages of 18 and 34. Although the younger generation has gravitated toward using Chispa, the team ensures that with every update, they cater to all users no matter their age. Another major part of Chispa’s community is its language and roots. Julia shared that 75% of members use the app in English and 25% prefer to use it in Spanish. She told us that these numbers don’t represent how many users may speak Spanish, but it reflects more so how many users may prefer English when on the app as they may be more familiar with English-based apps. “There is a strong sense of belonging, especially in this younger audience, that they belong to the U.S. Even if your family was from Latin America, you were born and raised here, and now you want to access the choices everyone else has,” Julia said.
Even if potential matches have roots in different Latin American or Spanish-speaking countries, their shared experience as a Hispanic person living in the U.S. can be enough common ground for a relationship. Esmeralda and Juan Jose met on Chispa and can testify to this. Their experience, like many others, started with a casual conversation. Esmeralda is Mexican and Juan Jose is Puerto Rican. She initially thought that would be an issue but soon learned that he was her perfect match. When Esmeralda was asked what advice she would give to other Chispa members she said, “My advice to others is to just give it a try. Regardless of different roots or cultures. You never know what can happen and in our case, it was a good thing that came out of trying.”
Chispa Advocates on Behalf of the Latino Community
Representing a community means more than saying it, you have to follow through with action. Chispa does just that. Outside of the dating app, Chispa is committed to elevating and embracing advancement in the Latin American community, and the team has dedicated resources to empower Latin people. What does this look like? According to Julia, the Chispa team is always on the lookout for new ways to better serve the community with tools that are relevant to the Latino community in the U.S.
Chispa has combined political activism with online dating. The app has partnered with Voto Latino, the largest political grassroots organization that educates and motivates young Latinos to register to vote. Through this partnership, users were able to use a built-in feature that allowed them to get information about voting and earn a badge on their profile to show that they were voters, intended to vote, and the topic that was most important to them during the 2020 election.
“As a brand, you cannot ignore some of the things that have happened in the past years. If you say you represent a community, you have to do just that. You have to speak up in areas that the community needs help in,” Julia said.
Chispa has a very diverse community, and Julia said the team is sensitive to various social matters. She shared that the team is working on a new brand campaign that will benefit the Latin community with scholarships, donations, and other efforts geared toward growth and support. “We are wanting to use the app to make a real impact in the community,” Julia said. “It’s one of the best parts of the job to be part of changing someone’s life. It’s just wonderful. It’s rewarding on a human level.”