We caught up with Hadleigh Bolt, COO of female empowerment company the KK Group to hear all about their new social app and how it’s set to disrupt the advertising industry…
How would you describe the Killing Kittens social app?
The app is a hybrid of Facebook, Bumble and Eventbrite with dating, community and a social network at its core with a full chat function. There’s also a whole educational side to it where members can watch videos, attend seminars and gain knowledge, information and instructions on everything from sensual massage to the art of strip tease. In addition there’s a whole brand platform attached to the app as well where users will find an entire sex positive ‘adult safe for work’ global world.
How is the new KK social app different from other networking apps?
The app is adult and sex positive, but it won’t have the restrictions that other safe for work networking apps have on content. On the other hand it also won’t have the kind of sometimes problematic NSFW content that full adult sites have. We will sit in between, in a new space that reflects the attitude of our members and the experience they have come to expect from KK: which is one of female-led, adult and sexually liberated interaction and content in an environment which is always respectful of women and ethically sound.
Our members will be able to discuss adult topics, to be educated, to make contact and experience things in ways which are regularly restricted on regular networking apps but at the same time our kittens and toms (the male KK members) want to be able to do this without being served the kind of content and advertising you would find on a full adult, NSFW, site.
You say that this app puts you in the position to solve advertising restrictions for brands, what are these restrictions and how do they affect certain brands?
In the last couple of years we’ve managed to grow the Killing Kittens community to around 180,000 members and we’ve also successfully raised over $1.5m in investment, despite being comprehensively blocked from digital advertising.
Because what we do is perceived as ‘adult’, the compliance departments of all major Silicon Valley firms from the very start erroneously put us in the same category as porn and refused to be associated with us, effectively locking us out of digital.
The compliance departments never tell you what the decision is based on or how they arrived at it, but it’s been a huge problem for us in the past as well as for many other ‘semi-adult’ brands that have been denied the chance to invest in this area.
KK was approached by Google to join their ad accelerator, but in the end compliance rejected us. PayPal will not work with us and Facebook and Instagram have kicked off any brand that is involved in an adult conversation – even though we and many other brands are a million miles from the world of porn.
There are a lot of brands like us who are operating in an adult and liberated community but may not want to engage with TrafficJunky, for instance, who serve the ads to Pornhub and RedTube, and so brands may find their content popping up next to something exploitative.
It’s to solve this problem that we are launching our own ad-supported media platform which has been backed by over thirty ‘adult safe-for-work’ brands. This platform gives other brands that are excluded from the mainstream digital world a home.
KK also gives these brands the added advantage that we can offer highly targeted opportunities because we know everything about our members from their age and what they’re looking for, to their kinks, interests and desires. In the past many lingerie, sex toys and alcohol brands have been frustrated from growing their businesses digitally by the puritanical streak in Silicon Valley. Now with KK’s digital platform, Adult Safe for Work brands have a place to come and do business.
What do the next few months have in store for the KK group?
We are 100% and 1000mph on the digital side of the business in the run up to a Series A funding round in the final quarter of this year. The new digital platform goes live on Monday 13th July with the chat app following within the next month – so all our focus is on that whilst building the educational side to the platform. We’re investing heavily in SEO, brand partnerships, PR, branded content and out of home as well as AppStore and Google Play optimization.