Grindr, the phenomenally successful iPhone app that allows gay men to locate one another using GPS technology, has this week announced plans for the release of a version of the app aimed at heterosexuals.
The application, which we’ve looked at before here on Zelda Lily, promises to help users ‘Find gay, bi, curious guys for free near you!’, was launched in 2009. Here in the UK, it enjoyed a relatively modest uptake initially –- that is, until Stephen Fry showed it to Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. In the week following this, 40,000 men downloaded the application — and numbers have continued to grow ever since. Currently over 700,000 men use Grindr, with another 2,000 downloading it every day.
Grindr is the invention of Joel Simkhai, an American economics graduate. With the help of a Danish app developer and a friend who was an expert in branding and design, it took him six months to develop the application. Simkhai claims the application is about ‘Finding guys. Being among your peers. Socialising.’ And this philosophy is something he’s keen to expand upon –- after all, socialising and being amongst your peers is not something that appeals exclusively to homosexuals .
Simkhai himself says, of launching a straight version of Grindr:
‘This notion of: Who is around me? Who is in this room now? Who else is like me? This is not just a gay thing. Gay men don’t have the monopoly on loneliness and isolation.’
Some take the view that the philosophy behind Grindr, and the way the app works, is a genuine solution to problems with ‘traditional’ online dating. I can see how Grindr could be seen to take away the problems of missed connections, or combat fear …
You Might Also Like ...