So You Can’t Advertise to Bisexual or Polyamorous People on Facebook

The bisexual pride flag - Wikipedia

A few days ago our advertising account with Facebook was “flagged for policy violations.” Meaning  “any adverts that [Bristlr are] running have been turned off.” Fair enough, these things happen and it’s not a big deal.

It was probably because in one ad we quote CNBC calling us the “Tinder for Beards”. Or perhaps it was because Facebook require prior permission before running dating ads, but as they don’t provide any way to contact them, we didn’t seek it. Either way I expect it to be sorted out shortly, and that’s not the point of this blog post.

The point of this blog post is to highlight the policies themselves, and some weirdness I found in them after having a closer read.

They have a section in their policies specifically for dating. And it’s all reasonable stuff; no nudity, don’t con people, don’t advertise to kids, no selling of mail-order brides etc.

But, they also have these policy points when it comes to who your ads can target:

  • The “Sex” targeting parameter must be set to either “Men” or “Women”.
  • The “Interested In” targeting parameter must be set to “Men”, “Women” or “Unspecified”. Combinations of “Men” and “Unspecified” and “Women” and “Unspecified” are also acceptable.

And these points are weird.

Your adverts have to be aimed at a specific sex (even though Facebook don’t actually track sex, and are mixing up the term “sex” with “gender” which… I don’t have time for that, read this). And those pigeon-holed people can’t be interested in dating both men and women; they have to be either straight, gay, or unspecified.

If you’re running, for example, a genderless dating site for people into beards, to use Facebook you have to break your demographic down into their “sex”, and then again into whether they’re straight or gay, or other.

As a better example which isn’t about us; if you’re running a dating site for bisexual, queer or just undecided people, you have to duplicate your ads to reach to two groups of arbitrarily grouped people.

Then we find this lovely line of the policy:

  • The “Relationship” targeting parameter must be set to “Single” or “Unspecified”.

As if open relationships and polyamory don’t exist, even though Facebook themselves provide an option to say you’re in “an open relationship”?

In taking broad strokes to prevent nefarious companies using the Facebook advertising platform, they’ve made it difficult for those not in the mainstream to reach people, and that sucks.

No, it’s not the biggest deal in the whole world, and Facebook are hardly alone in their actions, but it shows we still have a way to go.

To any developers out there remember: code is political.

8 Tips on How to Maintain the Longevity and Health of Your Beard

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  1. Patience is a virtue.  A truly epic beard is the product of self-restraint and great beard care. When you first start growing, resist the urge to trim or style, and leave it untouched for the first 3-6 weeks. (you have to go through hell before you get to heaven), this will allow the hairs to grow in evenly (some grow faster than others), and help you pick a style that suits its length and thickness.
  2. Match your beard to your face.  Like all great gentleman of the world, a beard should be in-tune with its surrounding environment, this is crucial the first month of growth, choose a final style that complements your face shape. Your beard will look better, and so will you.
  3. Learn how and when to trim.  Pruning is essential to a well-groomed beard—even if you plan on growing it out. Invest in a quality trimmer or really good scissors, and find the right technique to suit your master plan.  Always start off with just trimming the fly-away hairs and stray dogs.  Less is best at first.
  4. Cleanliness is next to godliness.  This is especially important in the early stages of growth, when environmental properties and skin cells can exacerbate the itchiness. Wash your beard about 3 times each week with an excellent beard wash, (there are many on the market to choose from), and pat it dry: An overzealous toweling can lead to frizz and split ends.
  5. Beard oil is the key to it all.  Nothing tames a beard like regular use of beard oil. At the Famous Beard Oil Co. we have many varieties to choose from, in a range of manly scents, (Nautilus, Urban Kerouac, Highlander, Monk’s Dream, Spicy Citrus, Woodsy Breeze, Ol’ 55 Blend, Savant Fusion, Sage Da Vinci and Clean Slate), but all of our wonderful beard oils will condition hairs to make them softer, shinier and aid in getting rid of the dreaded itch. Be sure to use a beard oil that uses pure essential oils, as this has the perfect antibacterial properties in them.  Visit famousbeardoil.com for more information on our top of the line beard oils.
  6. Teach and train your beard.  A regular trim will maintain your chosen shape, but it’s not the only way to keep your beard in line. A daily rubdown with a comb or boar hair brush will wrangle stubborn hairs, training them to grow in a downward direction. You can even up the ante with a good beard balm which lends some extra sculpting power while taming any flyways.
  7. You are what you eat.  Your beard is made from protein and fat, but it’s also heavily reliant on Vitamins B5, B3, and B9. That means lean meats, nuts, egg yolks, milk, and plenty of leafy greens. If you’re seriously committed, you can also round out your diet with a good manly supplement.
  8. Don’t forget your stache.  Growing an epic beard also means growing a mustache. To keep it looking neat, trim the area around your philtrum (the area under your nose), and if you choose to, the area right above your upper lip with a pair of grooming scissors, and keep it naturally sculpted with a medium-hold wax, you can get this anywhere.

 

Eric D. Lough is the founder & craftsman of the Famous Beard Oil Company.  All of their award winning beard oils are made to order using the highest quality carrier oils and pure essential oils with exceptional and modish scents.

“Your Beard Deserves This!”

Famousbeardoil.com

There’s a global beard shortage. No, actually.

Emma and Danny

I ran the numbers; there are a lot more people who want to date someone with a beard, than there are people with beards. And this is a global problem.

For every person with a good beard, here’s the ratio of people wanting to stroke them:

Amsterdam 3.64
London 2.36
Manchester 2.24
New York 2.08
Los Angeles 2.04
Sao Paulo 2.02
Paris 1.98
Austin 1.66

Meaning, for every 10 people with beards in Amsterdam, there are 36 wanting a bearded partner.

If ever there was a time to start going a beard, I would say it’s now.

The only place we found there isn’t a shortage is in South Asia.

One of the fun parts to my job at Bristlr is that I get to learn things that are impossible for anyone else to learn. Most of that is also totally useless, but sometimes I find something that’s just super interesting.

When it comes to dating sites, you normally assume it’s going to be filled with a significant majority of guys. In Tinder’s case, for example, it’s basically a two to one ratio of men to women. But an interesting thing happens on Bristlr; because we reduce the number of guys able to use our service, we see an almost 50/50 split of those with beards and those who want to stroke beards (we don’t track gender), with a slight majority wanting a beard.

If you limit the beard-havers to only those with a “good” beard (rated 2/5 or above by the community, i.e. an actual beard), the number of available beards for stroking halves. This is the case in pretty much every major territory and city where Bristlr exists.

I don’t doubt the “peak beard” study from last year which told us that in 2014 beards were seen as the most appealing they’ve been for generations. But if anyone suggests this means we’re going to see a decline in beard popularity any time soon, I have the data to tell them they’re wrong.

If you’d like to see the stats on a city or region I’ve not mentioned above, just leave a comment or drop Bristlr a tweet.

[Press Release] Beard-Lovers Can’t Get No Satisfaction

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There’s a world shortage of beards under way as demand outstrips supply, according to beard dating app, Bristlr.

Bristlr, more commonly known as “Tinder for Beards”, have more people looking for a date with a bearded beauty than people with beards available for dates! The world is currently undergoing a global beard shortage.

Bristlr have run their numbers and found that for every 10 people with good beards, there are 19 people wanting to find a bearded partner.

CMO, Stephanie Wedderburn explains ‘as one of our users put it… lots of people just want “a man with a good beard”. We’re experiencing a huge demand for more bearded men here in the UK, in Brazil, the US, Spain, Germany, and even China! We often get personal requests from women asking us to bring more bearded men to their area.’

If you’re sporting a nice bit of facial rough or are thinking of letting it grow, now’s the time to get on Bristlr and help them quash this (somewhat surprising) world facial fur shortage!

Bristlr have taken the dating world by storm since launching in October 2014. They’ve attracted a massive 90,000 users across the globe, made more than a third of a million matches, and proved that peak beard is definitely not over.

Let the Beards Unite: Bristlr Joins a Local Beardy Mash-up

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This blog post is long overdue, but we didn’t want to miss the chance to give our local bearded friends a shout out. Better late than never eh?!

Back at the end of April, Bristlr had the privilege of sponsoring a mash up between Liverpool’s Liverbeards and Manchester’s Great Man Beards, in the great city of Manchester. And what a fine bunch of gents they were! It’s not every day one gets to hang out with an exclusively bearded group of gentlemen; both John and I were in attendance and I must admit it was rather a treat being the only lady among all. the. beards. (there’s got to be a joke in there somewhere)!

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Not only did we get to enjoy the company of like-minded, bearded folk, but we also got a grand old tour of some of Manchester’s finest drinking establishments, from Kosmonaut to The Marble Arch. Visiting sound venues and sampling a selection of weird and wonderful craft brews is pretty standard fair for these folk. So, if you’d like to join either of these exceptional communities on their get-togethers, Great Man Beards next meet on June 20th and Liverbeards on June 30th.

Beards up!

Are you part of a local beard community or group? We’d love to learn more about you and potentially even sponsor your next event. Just contact stephanie@bristlr.com to find out more.

 

How to Get That Perfect Bushy Beard

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Guest post from Modern Mane.

A beard requires care and maintenance if you want it to look good. Much like a sports car, your beard needs frequent upkeep if you want it to stay at its best. Here are some tips for putting together a beard routine that will keep your mane bushy and thick, instead of scraggly and itchy.

Your beard can and will attract bacteria. Food particles, sweat, and so on can cause your beard to become smelly and disgusting. To avoid that unpleasant outcome, use a light shampoo to thoroughly rinse your beard. Frequent shampooing can strip out the natural oils in your beard and will cause your beard to dry out, so we recommend adding beard oil to your routine.

Beard oil conditions your beard and the underlying skin to prevent dryness and flakes. The best beard oils contain jojoba oil which moisturises at the deepest level of your skin. Olive oil is another super ingredient for its antibacterial and moisturising properties. Modern Mane all-natural beard oil contains both olive and jojoba oil, along with a convenient dropper for easy application.

When you’ve grown out your beard, you’ll probably feel an urge to stroke and feel its bushy awesomeness. Even though it’s fun to do, be aware that playing with your beard too frequently can cause it to thin out. But don’t despair:  A diet high in protein can help strengthen your hair follicles so that less falls out. The high protein diet will also promote healthier and quicker beard growth when you start growing out your mane.

Depending on your desired beard length, you may want to do some trimming. But if you want a sizeable beard, don’t start trimming until you’ve let your scruff grow out reasonably. Premature trimming can cause your beard to look thin and patchy instead of bushy and thick. When you do start trimming, the best bet is an electric trimmer. If you trim your neck, be aware that you should leave an inch or so of facial hair below the neck line. Any less and your beard will look off due to the stark contrast. Unless you’re going for the George Lucas look, this is to be avoided.

If you want to style your beard, you’ll need a quality comb. There are a number of great hand-made combs but to find the best comb for you, you’ll have to consider your beard length and type. As a rule of thumb, longer beards require wider teethed combs. Stay away from plastic combs if you can and invest in horn or wood based product instead. Your follicles will thank you and you won’t have to endure your beard hair painfully being caught on the teeth of a shoddy comb.

For optimal beard aesthetics, a beard wax is a must. You can apply beard wax by hand and style as necessary. For longer beards, you’re going to want a medium-hold product. Beard wax doesn’t just keep your hair from looking scraggly; it also acts as a conditioner to keep your hair from drying out. Dry beards are bad.

We’re not adding gender options until we can do it right

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When it comes to sexuality and gender, dating sites are pretty shit at anything beyond a simple binary. They get halfway through “LGBT” and just sort of give up.

OKCupid only started adding more realistic gender options late last year. Tinder and Happn are purely binary (with the former apparently banning trans users). Even trendy new start-ups who have their gender options praised in the press, in reality fail pretty miserably at delivery.

Bristlr doesn’t have gender options.

When we made the first prototype of Bristlr we knew we needed some kind of filtering (ideally a binary system for ease of development). So why pick gender with its infinite complexity, when we can just filter on beard or no-beard?

I’m pretty sure this makes Bristlr the largest dating site ever, without gender.

The great

We’re, like, super inclusive. If you’re into beards, we’re into you, and our doors are wide open. Lady looking for a gentleman-Viking for winter? Bearded dame rocking a kick-ass beard wanting to chat to new people? Asexual cutie with an addiction to rating beards? We love everyone. Hello!

The less-great

Bristlr’s doors may work for everyone. But without gender-based filtering, once you’re in the building you can have a less-than-ideal time finding people if you have specific preferences. It’s a common assumption that Bristlr is for guys with beards and women who want to meet them. And whilst this is the case for the majority of Bristlr’s users, it’s not the whole story.

To take gay guys as an example: We do get great feedback from guys using Bristlr to find other guys, but we do also get a lot of feedback which can be generalised to “I only want to see guys into guys”. You can filter by keyword, but this only works if you assume every gay guy has “gay” somewhere in their profile. It’s not great.

The plan

We’re going to add gender and sexuality options to Bristlr in order to support our LGBTQ+ users. But we’re not going to rush it.

Our current plan is to add an optional gender field to profiles: A text box allowing multiple, comma-separated words of your choosing (or invention). Then a second field where you write the genders you’re interested in. We then filter and match using a list of synonyms, plus existing filters like location, age, beard/no-beard etc.

The synonym list will be public, and community reviewed.

We want to help drive a better industry standard for this kind of stuff, and we know we’ve got a lot of work ahead. We’re a tiny team currently going through the Ignite start-up accelerator, so we’re being metaphorically scrunched up and fired out of a Business Cannon (like a human cannon, but with more spreadsheets). It may take us a little while, but this is going to happen.

If you have any thoughts, questions, concerns, or funny cat pictures, please do leave a comment or find me on Twitter.

Photo credit: Sexuality flag heart patches from Nerdloft on StoreEnvy


John Kershaw is Bristlr’s founder and CEO.

10 Questions: Stephanie Wedderburn, Bristlr CMO

Stephanie Wedderburn, CMO

When you’ve got the nerve to ask everybody else these personal, beard-centric questions, it only seems fair that one should be willing to answer them themselves. And so, without further ado, here are my answers to Bristlr’s 10 Questions (needless to say, the beard-love runs deep here at Team Bristlr).

  1. Do beards excite your loins? There’s only one answer.

Yes, but why stop there? Chest hair, stomach hair, knuckles hair…

  1. By how much?

Tremendously.

  1. Which is your favourite beard? Why? Types of Beard

The action man – even coverage and not so long it bares risk of getting in the way of things.

  1. And your least favourite? Why?

The grand master. I’m yet to see someone pull this off who isn’t in a death metal band. Just doesn’t work walkin’ down the street you know?

  1. Your famous beard crush is…

Joe Manganiello. Definitely.

  1. What’s the best thing about Bristlr?

It appeals to a specific group of people, making it far more likely to meet someone that you’re actually likely to get on with than on your more generic dating sites.

  1. If we could add any new feature to Bristlr, what would it be?

Definitely want to see the tops beards in any given area. It might be on the horizon, who knows?!

  1. Any ‘hairy’ moments you’d like to share from the romance bank? Go on

I once walked into a fine, bearded man, whilst rubbing my belly and singing “I like you so much better when you’re naked” in a hungover, dazed state. This was during a hen weekend in Barcelona. Not one of my finest moments.

  1. Have you found love on Bristlr?

I’ve found the love of Bristlr, which is why I’m delighted to have joined the team!

  1. What does the future look like for you and Bristlr?

Very positive indeed. How can you be unhappy in your work, when you get to look at beautiful beards all day long?!

10 Questions: Brian Harrington

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  1. Do beards excite your loins? There’s only one answer.

Let’s just say I enjoy waking up and looking at myself in the mirror every day, yes.

  1. By how much?

On a scale of 1-10, 11.

  1. Which is your favourite beard? Why?beards 

The Tree Fella, it’s the closest to the beard that I rock and I think is the perfect mix of casual and intentional. The best look for guys is the intersection of effortlessness and intentional.

  1. And your least favourite? Why?

The Safety Belt, I feel like a lot of guys make the mistake of defining the chin line too high which causes the beard to look more like a football helmet strap or a safety belt for your face. It’s possible to have a beard that is full and still gives off a trimmed and well-kept look.

  1. Your famous beard crush is…

I definitely wouldn’t mind looking like George Clooney when I get older, his five o’clock shadow nails it.

  1. What’s the best thing about Bristlr?

The conversations I’ve been able to strike up because of Bristlr have felt the most authentic for me compared to other dating apps. I think it’s great to have a common interest with someone right off the bat, like beards, and then let the conversation naturally flow from there.

  1. If we could add any new feature to Bristlr, what would it be?

The features are great; I think the interface and messaging feels a little clunky at times. Looking forward to seeing that improve as the community grows.

  1. Any ‘hairy’ moments you’d like to share from the romance bank? Go on…

None that I’m brave enough to mention here but I keep track of my rambling thoughts and a running commentary on all my dates on Twitter at @brainharrington.

  1. Have you found love on Bristlr?

I have found mutual attraction and great conversation, and if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

  1. What does the future look like for you and Bristlr?

Bristlr is fast becoming like a great friend who you’re happy to pick up the phone when they call. The future is bright.