Grindr Gets a Facelift

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Oct 3, 2013

If you're a Grindr user and tired of app's look, feel and features, then you're in some luck: Officials from the popular gay hook up app announced Wednesday that they've released a new update that will fix all your Grindr woes.

According to Tech Crunch, the update puts Grindr through a number of significant changes, including the new feature called "Tribes," which allows users to categorize themselves into subgroups of the LGBT community. Men can label themselves as a bear, clean-cut, a daddy, discrete, geek, jock, leather, otter, poz, rugged, trans and twink.

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai discussed these features in an interview with EDGE last year.

"There are lots of different types of gay men," he said. "There are bears, there are daddies, there are twinks. There are all these sub-communities within our gay community. So we're going to allow you to select yourself of one of 12 communities, including HIV positive," he continued. "The idea is if you're looking to meet someone who is HIV positive, you can now do that and search for that person. We are very excited for that, and it's going to make a big, big difference."

As Tech Crunch reports, those who use the free version of Grindr, which also has a new logo, can only identify with just one "tribe," where as those who pay for Grindr Xtra can include up to three tribes on their yellow glowing profile.

"Now there are so many guys, people would rather spend their time finding what they're really looking for," Simkhai said, according to Tech Crunch.

Another new feature is called "filters," allowing users to "view a feed based on their own specific interests," Tech Crunch writes. These filters include age, height, weight, ethnicity and more. But users who don't pay for Grindr will only be able to access three filters while guys with Xtra can use as many filters as they want.

Additionally, users are now able to include more about themselves in their profile, including their body type, tribe and "what their looking for." Guys can also link to their social media pages, like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

When it comes to Grindr's look, the layout has also undergone some change. The thumbnails are larger, allowing men to better examine a potential partner, and there is now an auto-scroll system. There's also a new chat box which allows users to see their older messages, delete individual chat lines and view chats from favorites.

"Our biggest focus with Grindr is now on speed," said Simkhai. "There are a lot of guys on it now, and they all want it to be faster. So that's what we've done with the next-gen version."

Though it's been about five years since a significant change has come to Grindr, the app has over 7 million downloads across the world with over one billion chat messages sent each month and one billion photos sent every two months.

"When I look at most of the top 20 highest grossing apps they don't seem sustainable," said Simkhai. "They're mostly games. The fact that we're there is a testament to what we've become to gay men, a basic utility."

While Grindr seems to be thriving, it was reported last month that officials from Turkey blocked the hookup app and its website, according to the country's largest LGBT organization.

Additionally, a new study found that 10 percent of Grindr users have never been tested for HIV, but tell potential partners they are not infected with the virus.

The new Grindr is available for iOS7 and Android.


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