Bang With Friends Aims To Become Facebook's "Klout for Banging"

The controversial Facebook hook-up app is now quantifying your sex appeal—while also introducing the option to "hang" before you "bang."

By now, we all know the story. Bang With Friends is a Facebook app, coded by a few college kids in a weekend, that facilitates no-risk hookups with people on your friends list. You say you’d like to bang them, and no one ever knows, unless they happen to say that they’d like to bang you, too.

And as much as we all laughed at the idea and its shameless, frat-boy marketing, its premise of one-button interaction has struck a chord. Since launching a few weeks ago with no marketing budget to speak of, half a million users have clicked their "down to bang" button 9 million times (or about 15 times apiece). The app has facilitated as many as 100,000 hookups.

Bang With Friends now features a Klout-like bangability score. Colbert and Stewart are apparently the app’s flagship users.

"As much of a joke and an unabashed, risque approach as we’d taken, there’s a larger vision," a developer who goes simply by the name of C tells me. "We really think this is a much more realistic way of how the younger generation is working." Even still, in an interview earlier this week, C was quick to point out his platform’s big shortcoming. Once users have created their bang list, most people have no more use for the app. There’s nothing else to do but refresh Gmail for the notification of a match. So the team is rolling out a series of new updates focused on the product’s long tail. And its pièce de résistance is every bit as intriguing as the app’s original premise.

"It’s like a Klout score for your weekly sexiness," he says.

As part of the update, Bang With Friends is adding richer profiles, pulling several images from your Facebook feed. Along with all these clicks comes the opportunity for analytics. While viewing data will remain anonymous, Bang With Friends will be providing a weekly score for each user, generated from the sorts of pageviews they’re drawing. "If nothing else, it gives you an idea that people were at least curious about you, that they didn’t get over the hump—no pun intended—or that maybe they’re viewing a certain photo of yours more than others," C says.

Scores are sharable, but going public with your number is an opt-in scenario. (Or it was supposed to be. Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart both have staggeringly large public numbers at the moment that they probably didn’t authorize. Also, see your invite, Jon. Thx.) The idea is to add a feature that you can boast about, but if you strike out, no one is any the wiser. In this regard, your bangability score is actually a lot more humane than Klout. But checking your score is just the hook of a larger vision for the platform, C tells me, that morphs the hook-up service into a more legitimate dating site.

"We see it as being more than Bang With Friends. We want to redefine ‘bang’ so it can be something like, ‘I want to meet up, I’m down to hang rather than just down to bang.’" So moving forward, the app will actually have a "down to hang" button alongside the "down the bang" button. A skeptic might say that Bang With Friends is selling out before landing their first major investor, trading in their social media key to become another But C disagrees.

"We’re not trying to form it into something that’s more socially acceptable, we’re trying to expand the use case," he maintains. "We’re definitely not getting rid of the bang part. We’re not at all ashamed of that." The more I consider the potential of Bang With Friends as a quasi-legitimate dating site, the more the idea actually makes a perverse amount of sense. It’s going to attract a certain cohort—just like a ChristianMingle or eHarmony does—and even when that cohort generally wants to hang, you’ll know that they’re like-minded in being open to bang. But whether or not their users will still be so likely to click that "down to bang" option with another, more conservative choice in sight? That’s the question. And if that’s lost, so is the strangely alluring id-scratcher that is Bang With Friends.

Bang With Friends

[Image: Couple via Shutterstock]

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  • Alyssa Mompoint

    Not to say that BWF will be a way to make it not so "awkward" to hook up but I'm wondering how the users will respond to having the "hang before the bang" option and how this hook-up-on-the-go culture will do on the future of sexual health. Should hookup apps be responsible for promoting safe sex? hmm:

  • Badassmotherhugger

    lol you have some the most faggoty readers. And I aint talking about the one gay guy (the app is gay friendly, did you know that?)

  • Bakatbakastakatcz

    Hmmm....a bunch of organisms that rely on sexual reproduction to proliferate. Seems like we've already been doing this in some form or another for a long time.

  • mduns

    Lots of haters commenting here. As a person who doesn't use the app, I still think that the idea is pretty novel, and the fact that they're pretty much able to take the risk out of admitting that you're attracted to someone is awesome. Been a shy guy my whole life, and while the name and graphics are more brash than necessary, the idea is still pretty ingenious. Kudos! 

  • Vikas Paul

    That seems weird !

    Apply some logic and you will find it useless without using it.

    how can you try on our friend online ????

  • Jane

    This sounds suspiciously like the app "tinder" that's available for iPhones. I wonder which came first?

  • Troyt

    To author Mark and Fast Co. editors-- I get that the novelty of this might warrant one article, but two within a week of each other? Seems a little bit more like an endorsement or promotion of Bang with Friends. For the most part, what I see on Co.Design shows innovative thinking, brilliant design and things that contribute positively to our culture. Bang with Friends however doesn't seem to be any of those things. Please stick with what you do well and leave this kind of reporting to TMZ.

  • Mark Wilson

    In most cases, we would stop at an article. But the "klout for banging" is a fresh enough idea that we'd write about any company doing it. In this case, it just so happened that it was announced by a company we were already covering. Make sense? 

  • Vikas Paul

    It is not about friends. !

    it is all about hookers and whores now they have platform to find customers and nothing else

  • Alexander

    It is an original idea, yes, but it is not worth anything more then perhaps what the advertising brings in. Why bother developing it more?

  • Joel Blair

    Considering you would already be Facebook friends with everyone showing in the app, I don't understand the relevance of "down to hang". You can already call or text those people and ask if they want to go bowling or whatever. Right?

  • DUH

    Wouldn't that apply to the "down to bang" button as well, if your already friends with someone on Facebook why don't you just ask them to bang on there. Facebook already has a messenger app and you have a keyboard. The "down to bang" button is the sex equivalent to Facebook's like button, it's extremely indirect, and is basically meaningless, "liking" something has become acknowledging you read it. Also to being a straight male I like to try to get a girl excited and have a good time before I attempt to "bang" her, you know taking her outside the house getting off the computer. There's no level of intimacy, no level of sexiness, but I guess the app is relying that you already know the person you want to "bang". My thoughts end up being it seems more like something to do when someone is bored, alone, probably masturbating, and would like to see who would be interested in them, rather then a place where you can actually find someone to bang. Also college students made this? Haven't you ever been to a bar in a college town, all your Facebook friends are there, everyone's trying to bang, and the longer your there the less you care what people think, sounds very familiar to me I think it's time to get off your laptop.

  • guest

    thats just what i was thinking... u know, is all right if u dont have the balls to go to ur friend and say "hey, wanna bang right now and than forget about it forever?" so u use this app... but really, if u dont have the balls to call someone and ask them if the wanna hang out or go on a date, ur just a really person.