Possibly the most popular ‘dating-app’ in the gay, bisexual and bi-curious world, Grindr is more commonly known as a ‘hook-up’ app as most gay guys use it for a great night out. Launched in 2009, and with over 2 million active daily users across 196 countries, Grindr is the most well-known & successful all-male social network in the world.
To follow the theme of instant-gratification, Grindr’s sign up process is super quick and simple, and there’s no Facebook involved. It also has a really visually attractive and uncluttered interface.
The app will ask you to provide your basic information like username, email and age (which helps keep users above legal age). The app will then ask for your specific preferences you’re looking for, such as ‘tribe’ (slang words used within the gay community to identify themselves based on body type and other qualities like age range, and sexual interests). The app will ask you to create a short blurb/’about me’ which will act as a way to ‘hook’ in your users. You’ll also have the option to display a profile photo, which is recommended as the app is very visual based (make sure to follow Grindr’s photo guidelines). To login you can chose to use your username or email in case you forget. If you want to logout of your account click the black "Sign Off" square in the top left corner.
Grindr’s matches are based on geo targeting and its interface allows users to see when other users are online and how close in proximity they are. Users will be able to see all the available profiles within a specific radius. If you see a photo that tempts your fancy, tap on it to see his full photo, information and how far away he is from you. You can save users as ‘favorites’ by tapping on the star, and his profile will continue to appear with a yellow dot, a green dot indicates a user is online. If you don’t want a user to appear again you can also chose to block them. When you want to start chatting with a user, you’ll see a timestamp of when the message was sent and a blue border means you’re actively chatting.
The app’s orange toolbar displays 5 icons used for various functions. The mask icon at the very left contains the main menu to view and edit your profile, change settings, get help, and subscribe to Grindr Xtra (the premium service).The speech bubble displays your chats, and when you have new messages this icon will change to a number. The circle hides offline users and only shows those who are currently online. The star shows users you've added to your favourites and the icon with three stacked rectangles sets filter options. For a boost of added fun when messaging, use Gaymoji, a collection of over 500 LGBTQ-themed stickers.
In addition to the strong geo targeting feature of the app, there’s also the ‘Send Location’ feature which allows you to see exactly how close a user is in proximity to you. If you want to get the most out of the app, pay for the premium feature, suitably named Grindr Xtra.
Those who subscribe will enjoy the following features:
As an app that works by targeting its users exact locations, it’s no surprise there was a recent scandal after a bug in the system was able to leak users’ exact locations. However, the app has made promises to protect users privacy. This may be more of an issue for men who aren’t openly gay, or are just using Grindr to experiment. The app also allows users the option to report any suspicious profile activity; from fake accounts to using other people's photos. In an attempt to combat fake accounts, Grindr has a feature that allows accounts to be linked with social media channels so it’s easier to suss out a fake user.
|Premium Membership||$5 per month|
Thumbs up/5 Stars: ’Tons of guys in LA. Interface is clean, simple and intuitive. Everything works. I recommend this to all my friends. I haven't experienced any of the technical issues described by the other reviewers on my iPhone 4.1*By califomia via Cnet
Thumbs Down/1 Star: ‘’Waste of money at the moment, unless Grindr doesn't come up with the good technical solution for the constant crushes If you need frustration in your life - buy it! Will keep you busy!’’ by Amsterboy via Cnet
Grindr appears to have a pretty good help and support section with different categories based on your issue (also appears in Spanish). There’s an additional section with a sexual health resource which is important to help keep the app safe. If you have an issue with the app you can submit a request and you’ll be asked for more information about the problem.
There’s no doubt that this app improves gay men’s dating life considerably. Despite some technical issues the millions of daily users is the proof that this app works for gay men looking for a hookup, or even just a great ways to meet like-minded friends.