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Vu Tran was frustrated with traditional dating apps.As an Asian male, he felt that the current offerings “get hijacked by the majority.” So, Tran and a few friends spent a weekend building an app that was focused on minorities and those who like minorities.“We want to move toward more of the community aspect of it.” Tran noted that there are many similar apps like Where White People Meet or Black People Meet that target specific verticals.

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The rate of sending and receiving messages across different races.

The race of the sender goes across the bottom, while the rate of the user receiving the message is on the right (the depth of the graph).

Vu, who went through Y Combinator with two separate startups before launching Color Dating, said that the online dating experience — particularly for quick-swipe apps like Tinder — can be frustrating for minorities.

“If a community is predominately a certain race and expresses a specific preference, if you don’t fit with the majority, you’ll end up having a horrible experience,” he said.

According to the site's internal stats, white males get the most responses to their messages than any other group, and that white, Asian and Hispanic women reply to non-white men less than a quarter of the time.

Lewis found similar patterns: "Most men (except black men) are unlikely to initiate contact with black women, all men (including Asian men) are unlikely to reply to Asian women, and although women from all racial backgrounds tend to initiate contact with men from the same background, women from all racial backgrounds also disproportionately reply to white men." Ok Cupid, like so many places, is good place to be a white dude.

Users can pay for premium features like unlimited likes — Tran said Color Dating is already profitable. It’s hard, if not impossible to control who you’re attracted to and didn’t mean they didn’t like me as a person.

Instead, we’re trying to focus on facilitating a better experience and environment.

As I wrote earlier this week, one of the reasons economists like to use dating Web sites for data on mate choice is that people often don’t act in a way that is consistent with their stated preferences.

Say, for example, that I am asked the question “How tall does a man have to before you want to date him” and I respond that height doesn’t matter to me.

The very first post on Dollars and Sex asked the question: "Do Women Really Value Income Over Looks in a Mate?