BlackPlanet
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BlackPlanet Stories Feed
BlackPlanet Female Profile

Our Review

BlackPlanet is an online dating community that specifically caters to African-Americans. Its services are 100% free for everyone, although it runs a few advertisements on its pages. Members are allowed to socialize through private messaging features and public forums. Some advertise job postings but members are reminded that such posts are not being checked for authenticity by the site and they are allowed to apply at their own risk.

It claims to be one of the world's largest online community for African-Americans. Its goal is to provide a platform where men and women socialize for friendship, networking, or finding love. It has been operating for a while and is, in fact, one of the first niche social online community for black people.

Does BlackPlanet continue to be one of the top choices for black community? Was it able to keep up with the fast-changing online dating landscape? Find out more in this review.

Member Structure

Members
250,000 from USA
Members activity
50,000 active weekly
Gender Proportion
60 %
40 %
  • You get a personal profile which you can fill out
  • Majority of users post their photos in the Discovery section.
  • You will not see the list of online members.
  • The site's main target population are African-American singles.
  • Non-black people can still join BlackPlanet.
  • The "Stories" feature is active.

The news articles under the "Stories" section are not frequently updated, but these gather a lot of comments from members. Only the site moderators can post a new article here, but everyone can share their thoughts on it through the comment box. The topics listed here are usually about popular African-American celebrities and icons, but other big issues like the Harvey Weinstein case and Anthony Bourdain's death are also posted here.

Female members are more active than male. They always post their pictures, update their status, or comment on articles. On the other hand, male members like the chat room and the messaging features more.

Females
Males

Age Distribution

  • 18-24
  • 25-34
  • 35-44
  • 45-54
  • 55+

Signing Up

BlackPlanet Home
  • A new member only has to fill out necessary personal information.
  • It takes less than two minutes to finish creating the profile.
  • You may upload a profile photo during registration, but it is not required.
  • The registration page shows a "Not Secure" warning from the web browser.
  • They require all new users to click the reCaptcha service "I'm not a Robot."

A "Not secure" prompt appears at the address bar of your browser when you access the BlackPlanet website. This warning means that it is not secured to connect to this site. It alerts you that the information sent and received with that page is unprotected and can potentially be stolen, read, or modified by someone.

On a positive note, they have the reCaptcha service which deters spam bots from entering the site. Still, it is the only security feature that they have.

Creating an account with BlackPlanet is easy since they only ask for the necessary information such as the username, email address, password, gender, and date of birth.

Making Contact

BlackPlanet Stories Feed
  • All messaging features are free.
  • You can post a message like in a bulletin board where people can add comments.
  • Messages are called "Notes" that can be embedded with a photo.
  • Sending messages to other users is free for everyone
  • There is a chatroom

Looking for people near you is possible because you can modify your search results based on gender, age, and zip code. You can also enter any zip code that you want even those outside your area.

Only the moderators can create a chat room, but they are available for everyone. The rooms are sorted according to age, gender preference, and location. People are generally friendly and polite during conversations, but job advertisements are noticeable. Almost all rooms have a job advertisement posted by a member.

Profile Quality

BlackPlanet Female Profile
  • You can view all the photos uploaded into albums.
  • There is not much information inside profiles.
  • You can comment on any public post even if you are not friends with the poster.
  • The profiles are poorly detailed
  • The profile information can be changed later
  • Profile pictures are visible to everyone for free
  • You can add your header photo and bio essay later.

Information on each profile is scarce, especially since adding details aside from basic information is not required. You will not get an overview of a person's personality by checking their profiles. You will need to get in touch and be friends with the person and see how they are like in social networking sites.

Members like posting status updates that are open for public comments. These posts can be pictures or text about anything and appear on the "Discover" section. BlackPlanet randomly selects the Discover section posts that appear for every member. The most liked posts will have a place in the "Propped Posts" tab.

App

BlackPlanet App Discover
  • The app version receives a lot of usability complaints.
  • The desktop version looks exactly like the mobile web version.
  • The app is available for Android and Apple devices.
  • It is free to download.
  • The app's response to commands is slow.

All the functionalities of BlackPlanet are free, even for the app version. The mobile app, however, has received a lot of complaints from users about the glitching and freezing. The app version looks like it has not received an upgrade aesthetics and functionality-wise in a long time. Members are not happy about it.

The app version's button looks old and the response is slow. Also, some functionalities found in the desktop version are missing in the app.

Real Life Review

I deleted this app three years ago, and today I decided to give it a try again. Here's what I found out: this app still glitches and it also almost looked the same way three years ago! This app is severely outdated. It needs upgrades. I can't see pictures due to them hiding halfway between the bottom of the phone and covered by ads. It freezes up all time, and cosmetically, it looks low budget. Most of the video ads can't be skipped! It doesn't matter if there are a lot of African-Americans in this app, this app needs changing. I hope they do something about it quick before their other members switch to other alternatives too. —Shanice, a university student

Design and Usability

Both the website and app versions of BlackPlanet need an upgrade design-wise. It has been one of the first sites to introduce an online social community for African-Americans. It has been in the cycle for a long time now. But it seems as if the developers were left behind by the other sites when it comes to aesthetics and features. The buttons and overall design look outdated, plus the functionalities that it offers are very basic.

BlackPlanet Costs and Prices

The site's features are totally free.

Special Features

BlackPlanet has the following special features that make interaction and flirting with other members more memorable:

Notes

Create love letter-like messages that can be embedded with photos. You can send as many as you like for free.

Stories

Know the latest story about African-American celebrities. You can also add comments on the news article and discuss with other members your thoughts.

Discover

Check out what other people has to say about anything under the sun, just like in other social networking sites. Members can comment or like these posts so they can be popular.

Chat Room

Join a public chat room and discuss to get to know the other members of BlackPlanet and find friends. You can join the chat rooms for free.

Our rating

Signing Up: 2.0 / 5
Making Contact: 3.0 / 5
Profile Quality: 3.0 / 5
App: 2.0 / 5
Real Life Review: 2.5 / 5

Editors Conclusion

Chris Pleines
BlackPlanet may be one of the first sites created tailored to the needs of the African-American community, but it seems like it has been too slow in keeping up with the demands of the online world. It needs a lot of design and feature upgrades. Even members who have been there for a while are noticing this. BlackPlanet's years of maintaining the community will go to waste if they do not heed the community's requests. Because of this, BlackPlanet may not be a suitable place to fall in love. For other dating site recommendations, you may check out our Personals category.

FAQ

Information

What is Black Planet?

It is an African-American social networking service. Its primary services include matchmaking and job postings.

When was BlackPlanet launched?

It was launched on 2001 by internet analyst Omar Wasow and Community Connect's CEO Benjamin Sun.

Is BlackPlanet free?

BlackPlanet's features and services are free. You can also download its app on your Android or Apple device for free.

How can I remove the ads on BlackPlanet?

There is no way to remove the advertisements as of the moment. The video ads usually last for about 15 to 30 seconds, but most of it can be skipped.

Do I have to verify my email address after creating an account?

There is no verification process needed on BlackPlanet. You may log in to your account after registration.

Usability

How do I comment on a news article on BlackPlanet?

Go to the "Stories" tab then choose the news article that you want. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the comment box. Type your comment and click "post."

Where do I find the latest posts on BlackPlanet?

On the homepage, you will see three categories of public posts for you to see: Trending, Dope, and Now. Go to "Trending" for the most-liked posts, "Dope" for the most commented, and "Now" for the most recent.

How do I send a note on BlackPlanet?

Click the username of the member that you want to message. At the top of their profile page, click on the drop-down arrow beside "Contact." Click on "Send Note" and type your message on the text box.

What is the "prop" button's purpose?

Instead of "like," BlackPlanet uses the word "prop" in its site. Clicking this will give you a result similar to liking.

How do I like a public post on BlackPlanet?

Under every post, you will see two buttons: "skip" and "prop." Click "prop" to like, or "skip" to ignore.

Security

What is the "Not secure" warning at the address bar?

Web browsers tag BlackPlanet as not secure. The warning refers to the lack of security when connecting to that page.

How soon will my profile be visible in the search list?

Your BlackPlanet profile will immediately be visible after you finish the registration. Other members can see your profile if you post, or comment on different profiles.

Can I control over who can visit my account on BlackPlanet?

There is not yet a feature that can control the privacy settings of members. All posts are public as of the moment.

Can I block another user on BlackPlanet?

There is no feature to block other members yet, but you can skip their posts. This reduces the likelihood of you stumbling into their posts again.

How many "props" can I give to another member on BlackPlanet?

You can only give one "prop" or like to a person's profile per day.

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Infos

Company:Urban One
Address:205 Hudson Street, 6th Floor, New York, New York, USA
E-Mail:[email protected]