Of the many different websites that have been utilized by the CTS community in recent years, BackPage (BP) was one of the most popular. Even while BP was still active there were other sites that copied their format and even their name. These BP “clones” were never good sites, often stealing photos and ads from other websites. Since the shutdown of BP, these clones were even more predatory.
In this backdrop, many people in the community—myself included—were suspicious when a new site showed up: YesBackPage (YBP). Was this just another crappy BP clone? Honestly, I was very uncertain. But a few sex workers that I know contacted me to tell me it was a legitimate site.
Looking over YBP, I think that it has a lot of potential. There are many reputable and well respected providers using this site for advertising. It is continually growing it’s list of users. At this time YBP has become a useful advertising site in many different markets. The spread is somewhat slow in some areas, but this is likely to gain momentum as word spreads that YBP can be trusted.
I do not particularly like the overall format of YBP, but then I didn’t much care for how the original BP was set up either. I prefer sites that are more interactive and searchable. But I do understand that the basic concept here is much like the old newspaper classified ads. And certainly there is a value in such simplicity. The ads themselves are acceptable. No frills, just very straight to the point.
Looking through various cities it is clear that more providers are advertising in some areas than in others. In my particular area there is very little actual local advertising. Other areas are much better off. I would expect this to change over time, but this does currently affect the value of the site to users.
There are still some vocal critics of the YBP. Certain claims have been made online that the site is not foreign based and hosted as YBP has stated. I will not attempt to assess the veracity of these claims.
I can verify that YBP has offered to help providers who lost money when BP was shut down. They have sent out emails offering to give credit to providers who can show that they lost prepaid funds. I know providers who have received credits from YBP toward advertising. This has gone a long way in establishing the credibility of this site in my opinion.
I think that YBP will grow to be a very widespread and used website. Will it reach the size and activity of the original BP? I don’t know, but I think it probably won’t, if for no other reason than I doubt sex workers will become as reliant on a single site like this as in the past.
I do hope to see a steady growth in YBP. I also hope to see some improvements in their layout and user interface. Any new website is going to have to make changes as it learns what does and does not work for its users. In the meantime, a solid place for workers to advertise is a value to the CTS community.
YBP email offer:
Best value to the CTS Community: widespread advertising
Overall Grade: B-
There is an issue regarding usefulness of the site due to a lack of advertisements in many areas, but there is a lot of room for improvement. I do think that YBP will get better over time. There is plenty of potential here.