The Instagram page plans to engage its followers through more than just posts.
Students can now participate in the new matchmaking haven of Azusa Pacific: APU Crushes Official. With the promise of anonymity, APU students can have a photo of their crush, as well as a caption of choice, posted to APU Crushes on Instagram.
APU Crushes Official is just one of many APU-specific Instagram accounts that has recently risen in popularity.
“We collectively saw a need for this account, as we are one of the only universities without one. We wanted to give a safe space for our classmates to send in their crushes anonymously,” said the account owner.
The process is quite simple to get someone’s crush posted. All it takes is a direct message (DM) with a picture of your crush to the account, and you have the option to include a caption. If you choose not to submit a caption, the account owner will write one instead.
“You could tell your crush anything without risking your identity,” the account owner said.
Although the process is easy, they have a high amount of crushes sent in daily, so they are not able to post every single one.
“Because of our high volume of crushes sent in everyday, we have trouble posting every one. We’ve currently just staffed a few more people to our team, so you can expect many more crushes to your feed,” they said.
Although the account only started in September of this year, they were not surprised at first at how many people ended up responding to the account, but the continual support has validated their efforts.
“We knew we weren’t the only ones who loved love,” they said.
Since the account owners are anonymous, students on campus freely discuss their opinions about APU Crushes Official without knowing when or if the account owners are listening. So far, they know they have received mixed reviews.
“Some people are absolutely in love with our account. Others get frustrated when significant others send each other in to us,” they said.
This seems to be an ongoing trend that occurs with the account. Mackenzie Robinson, a freshman acting major, knew that the photo of her that appeared on the page was submitted by her boyfriend.
“The post was definitely a surprise. After reading the caption I could tell it was my boyfriend who sent it in,” she said.
Her thoughts on the account overall are positive.
“I love reading [other posts] to see if I can guess any of them for my friends,” Robinson said.
Students also submit their friends, as experienced by Bryce Koeppen, a junior ministry major.
“Honestly, I was submitted by my friend as a joke,” Koeppen said. “Nothing really came of it as I am already in a serious relationship.”
Others have differing opinions.
“I don’t see why it’s necessary; it seems silly. I understand there’s an audience for something like this, but I can’t understand why,” said Paul Nicholson, a junior theater major.
Jake Spencer, a senior English major, was another recipient of a post from a crush.
“I got a lot of attention because of it,” Spencer said. “I’m still single, so not much came from it, but it still gave me a lot of exposure.”
Even with the goal of creating a safe space for any student to send in their crush anonymously, their thoughts on singleness are very positive.
“We in no way are suggesting that you have to date to be happy. This account is simply a fun way to talk to your crush without worry,” the account owners emphasized.
A couple weeks ago, the account posted about a blind date giveaway if they reached 1,000 followers. They were not able to make their goal at that time, so the giveaway did not happen. Luckily for their eager audience, they just recently reached 1,000 followers.
APU Crushes Official announced on Nov. 8 that they are partnering with the Chick-Fil-A in Azusa for a blind breakfast date. The giveaway will take place on Thursday, Nov. 14 where the two winners will be set up for breakfast.
The future for the account will follow in that same path. The account owners hope to start a new segment in which blind dates are hosted once a week, and maybe even host a speed dating event.
Other schools, like Biola, have similar accounts. On Nov. 10, APU Crushes posted on their story hinting at a collaboration with this very account.
“We have something special in the works,” they said.
Although they haven’t confirmed what they will be collaborating on, it can be easy to speculate there may be blind dates with students from each school.
They are also thinking about introducing a “friend crush” segment, depending on whether or not their audience will respond positively to the idea.
“We are always open to what our community would like from us, and we enjoy going through as many DM’s as we can each day,” said the account owners.
With APU Crushes’ plans for the future to bring more of an interactive aspect to their account, the Instagram page doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.