The League is making everyone's first profile picture black and white

Fitz Tepper

Exclusive dating app The League is going monochrome. Starting today, everyone's first profile picture will be displayed in black and white.

To be clear, this isn't a filter - everyone's first photo will be automatically displayed to potential matches in black and white, with no option to opt out. You'll still be able to swipe through and see the rest of a match's photos in color, and their first photo will be repeated in color at the end of their photo display.

Everyone knows that they look better in monochrome - but is this really the reason the app is doing this? Not exactly.

The goal here is to get users to spend more time taking a holistic look at a potential match, and make sure they're not making a rash decision before saying yes or no, which we've all been trained to do by swipe-based dating apps. "It's easy for people to make snap judgments based on hair, skin or eye color, but harder to do when a photo is in monochrome" explained the startup.

Plus, color photos distract from the important biographical information below, like someone's education and job history, which is just as important as someone's looks. In A/B tests over the last month, users spent twice as long looking at a user's profile when it was displayed in monochrome. So the hope is that a black and white photo may make you spend an extra few seconds looking at a match's interests or profession, where you could discover something that would make you "heart" them when you'd otherwise pass.

Case in point: profiles part of the monochrome test saw a 10% increase in acceptance rate, which will definitely make all users happy.

While not always as publicized as dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, The League is now available in 21 cities, with Detroit, Phoenix, Portland, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Nashville coming November 6th. Throughout this expansion their ratio of daily active users to monthly active users has essentially stayed the same at 55%, which shows the stickiness of the product.