Grindr Gaining 8,000 New Users Daily

INTERVIEW: Gay men tend to be early adopters of new technology and location-based services are no exception. Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO of Grindr, spoke to GPS Business News about online dating, location-based advertising and his new project for men and women.



Grindr Gaining 8,000 New Users Daily
Grindr, the all-male mobile date-finding app, has become a huge success by enabling gay men to use its location feature to make themselves known to each other.

So much so that it now has over 1.5 million users in 180 countries, with 280,000 of them logging on daily and spending an average of 1.5 hours using the service.

But with the Los Angeles-based start-up now preparing to launch a new service for both sexes, will mere proximity to someone prove as appealing to a female audience as it does to gay men?

That's a question that Joel Simkhai, Grindr's founder and CEO, has been considering as he readies Project Amicus for release.

He said he recognises that with Amicus – the name is Latin for “friend” - things will have to be done differently to attract women to the service. He said the focus will be on the female user experience.

“We think we've nailed down the male user experience. I don't think gay and straight men are too different in terms of how their minds work,” he said.

“The other aspect is that with Grindr everyone is gay or bi-sexual. That's a very strong commonality or bond.

“Once we take that out of it we've lost a key component. The question then becomes: what is it that binds a community? What is it that binds a women to say: Oh, I want to meet that man.”


Joel Simkhai, Grindr's founder and CEO
Joel Simkhai, Grindr's founder and CEO
Joel Simkhai, Grindr's founder and CEO
Joel Simkhai, Grindr's founder and CEO
Wider Adoption

Grindr launched on Android earlier this month and Simkhai said it is now getting 8,000 new members every day – prior to the launch it was 3,000.

He is hoping that this success will pave the way for a larger adoption with Amicus.

Although they are not releasing full details of the new location-based mobile app yet, Simkhai said it will be unlike anything on the market and would offer a solution to a conundrum faced by both sexes.

“For us, it's really about friendship and meeting new people. So a woman might want to meet another woman for a friendship and they're both straight women.

“So this isn't just about dating. This is really about meeting. I think that's an important difference.

“And that's one of the things that we will be helping people to do. With the choice of thousands of people around you, who is it that I want to meet?”

Whether women are going to be encouraged to make contact with someone simply because they are close by remains to be seen.

However, Simkhai is confident the location element will prove to be as alluring to women.

Continued...

Thursday, March 24th 2011
David Montgomery


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