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Jonathan Kirkland, head of top dating app BLK, wants everyone to find love

Jonathan Kirkland, head of top dating app BLK, wants everyone to find love
Photo credit: / LightField Studios

In his role as head of marketing and branding at BLK, the leading Black dating app, Jonathan Kirkland has seen the company grow exponentially during the pandemic as people across the country sought to escape the great love lockdown of 2020, aka the pandemic.

Kirkland, a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University — an HBCU school — and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., is responsible for formulating the BLK brand vision and ensuring it’s reflected across all marketing touch points.

Understanding the importance of inspiring engagement through community building, he has spearheaded efforts that have bolstered BLK’s presence and market share, establishing the app as a platform where Black love in all its forms and expressions can happen every day.

How has the pandemic affected BLK?

The pandemic has accelerated growth trends that we were seeing prior to the onset of the pandemic. Our app downloads have doubled YOY [year-over-year], and we are now at 5.06 million downloads.

How have you observed daters’ habits change over the last year?

In the first two weeks of lockdown, we saw daily user activity increase by 18%. Here we are a year later, and daily activity remains strong [up 44% year-over-year]. We’ve also seen an increase of 22% in daily in-app messages YOY.

How is BLK related to Match Group?

At a corporate level, all brands — including Tinder,, okCupid, Hinge, etc. — roll up into the Match Group — note, this is not BLK is a Match affinity brand. Under Match affinity, there are a portfolio of brands that serve specific niche audiences. Including BLK, Black dating; Chispa, Hispanic dating; and Upward, Christian dating. Information can be found at

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