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Down Is Up: Bang with Friends, Rebanged 

Wednesday, Nov 27 2013

When the hookup site Bang With Friends secured its first million dollars in April, it had all the production values of an html page designed by a high school student — or three enterprising tech bros during a night of alcohol-fueled fraternizing. It didn't always work on a Safari browser, and anyone trying to load the app on a smartphone may as well have just approached his crush in real life, where the odds of a successful bang were probably better anyway.

Never mind the app's extremely cynical view of modern romance. Never mind its conceit that all mates are disposable. Never mind that it recasts casual sex as a videogame, with all the mindless addictiveness of Candy Crush or Words with Friends. To venture capitalist Tim Draper and a coterie of other investors, the idea had legs.

One trademark settlement later, Bang with Friends has rechristened itself Down, redesigned its website, created apps for iPhone and Android, and promised a user experience "that stands out as best-in-class for our market," according to a company spokesman. He added that Down has found favor in Germany and Brazil, where tech-savvy libertines helped boost its Facebook tally to 10,000 users — presuming they didn't all just download the app as a joke.

With all that said, though, we still doubt that clickable social media will ever supplant the old-fashioned booty call. There are easier ways to get down.

About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


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