Party with a Local: Not a Dating App

Nope nope nope.

5 min readAug 17, 2016

One of the most annoying things as Community Manager for Party with a Local is people thinking that PwaL is a dating app.

In a broad sense I can (sort of) understand: most meet-new-people apps out there do have a dating focus. But once you download and sign up to Party with a Local, it should become clear that Party with a Local is not one of them.

There’s already so many apps which are designed to find your next date or hook-up — we don’t need to build another one. What there is a lack of, however, are tools for meeting new people just to hang out and enjoy nightlife with.

Hanging out at a Party with a Local Rooftop Session

Wanting to go out and party but not having the people within your own network to do this with is a common problem.

It can be for a variety of reasons: perhaps your friends simply have a different music taste to you; you could have just moved to a new city and be looking to build a social network there; or maybe you’re traveling and would love to have some local knowledge on where to go (a night out with a local is always better, after all).

Whatever the reason, Party with a Local is solving a problem that many people face, and this is precisely why it is so important to make sure that the Party with a Local community continues to be used for what it was intended — connecting people around the world for awesome party experiences, not for hooking up.

So how does Party with a Local differentiate itself from dating apps?

1. Community & Culture

With every new user who joins the Party with a Local community, we try to convey the Party with a Local culture.

That is — a culture of openness, fun, spontaneity & friendliness (but not toofriendly ;) )

When a user signs up, they receive an email from Dan (Founder & CEO) welcoming them to the app and explaining what Party with a Local is designed for. Included here is a little side-note to say that it is not a dating app, so if you’re looking to ‘swipe-right’ then perhaps it isn’t the one for you.

Party with a Local in Lille, France

In case a new user missed this email, we also take the time to personally welcome every new member of the community with an in-app chat message.

Not only does this set the tone for a culture of openness and friendliness, but it also gives the team the chance to pick-up on any users who may have gotten the wrong idea.

If a user’s bio says something along the lines of “looking for a nice lady” or “who wants to f***” (which happens only very occasionally), then we probably know that this person is not just looking for some new platonic pals. We can chat to them, explain that PwaL is not the right platform for this, and problem solved.

Very often it’s an honest mistake — people just don’t realise that it’s the wrong platform, and once informed they change their tone.

That’s why it’s so important to personally reach out to new members of the community — and also why we are building more features into the app which will make it more obvious that PwaL is not a dating app (more on this below).

Finally, our own community is key in helping us to encourage the right behaviour within the app.

We’ve successfully built a self-monitoring community who will reach out to people using the app for the wrong reasons and report them to the team if they continue to violate our Community Policy. This also goes for any sexist, racist or violent behaviour.

Our ambassadors — Super Locals — also act as role models for new members, displaying the kind of behaviour that is welcomed in the Party with a Local community.

Two of our amazing Super Locals in Amsterdam

2. Features built into the app

Encouraging the right kind of behaviour through the Team and our Community telling people what PwaL is about is fine, but it would be even better if we didn’t have to do this.

By building features that convey this message for us, we hope that more people will realise on their own what the app is designed for.

At the moment, a feature that distinguishes PwaL from a dating app is thereview function. Users can leave reviews of the people they have met up with from the app, telling others about the awesome experiences they have shared.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly never seen a dating app with a public reviews section… though it would be quite funny! That’s because dating apps are about one-to-one interactions, whilst PwaL is about having an open community that shares experiences.

We’re also currently working on a new events feature which allows users to add a specific event and form a group of people to attend with.

This new feature should be a game changer in taking us that one step further away from being perceived as a dating app as more and more group meet-ups will be organised through the app.

All in all, we really care about our community. Whether it’s by talking to every user individually or building new features in the app, we are 100% committed to spreading the message that Party with a Local is not a dating app.

Download Party with a Local free from the App Store or Google Play today!