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Grindr Expands To Android Devices. What Comes Next?

GrindrLogo Mobile app Grindr announced today that they're expanding beyond just iPhones and BlackBerries to include Android devices.

The news wasn't a surprise, of course: the company, founded by Joel Simkhai, grew to 1.5 million users in 180 countries over the course of just two years, and is currently the most downloaded gay-themed app. The Android version was, quite simply, an inevitability.

But why, asks someone who has never used it, is Grindr so popular? While other apps are falling off or hit a plateau, Grindr keeps growing. What is so special about it? Is it the fact that it's instant and local? Knowing whom in your vicinity wants to hook up definitely cuts back on incessant messaging, and probably more than a few headaches.

So, if Grindr's instantaneous gratification is what makes it so appealing, what comes next? What other concept can be made instant, local and mobile?

I mean, Grindr built an entire company on the idea that gay men will hook up with just a picture and a direction, so what other simple concept can harnessed for mobile devices?

Note: This is an edited version of an earlier post.

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  1. Oh great. Grindr's sex-phobic, shame-based, let's make the world safe for the idiocracy censorship-for-profit is spreading to another operating system.

    Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen. Let's all dance in the streets.

    Posted by: Bryan | Mar 7, 2011 7:03:57 PM

  2. Good grief, I believe Towleroad just jumped the proverbial shark.

    Posted by: crispy | Mar 7, 2011 7:13:46 PM

  3. @Crispy: Well, it's not Andy writing this up...

    Posted by: Jacob | Mar 7, 2011 7:17:44 PM

  4. I lost my virginity thanks to Grindr. I won't ever do that again.

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 7, 2011 7:19:35 PM

  5. inevitably -- should be inevitability! editor please!

    Posted by: David B. 2 | Mar 7, 2011 7:51:13 PM

  6. I'll be honest. I've been thinking about getting Grindr because I'm gonna be in Hawaii in July. I'm scared of a psycho in my neck of the woods stalking me after a hookup, but an anonymous meetup in a vacation locale? I've never had a one night stand before. Might be fun.

    Unless, of course, locals prey on out-of-towners.......hmm.

    Posted by: Robert | Mar 7, 2011 8:45:52 PM

  7. It's not that bad I have only chatted on it I have yet to meet one person and with a Accuracy of + or - of 231 feet at best there not going to find you. I was on Muni this weekend and this guy next to me was on it as was I and it said he was 5 miles away

    Posted by: Kevzin | Mar 7, 2011 9:01:12 PM

  8. Grindr...the quickest way to contract HIV. No thanks.

    Posted by: Carl | Mar 7, 2011 9:10:16 PM

  9. try Scruff, most beautifull men , and real men! Near Half of the smartphones users are on android, and they need 2 years to finally discover that there is not only iphones in the world?? Cm'on !

    Posted by: willyag | Mar 7, 2011 9:55:44 PM

  10. I'm with Bryan on this one, Grindr's regulations on what you can and can't do in a profile are becoming really annoying. I understand it's really Apple's regulations, but it feels like the company is being turned against its own users just because Apple doesn't want anything close to porn in the App Store. The same thing happened with Manhunt's app. It's horribly annoying that you can't see half the members' pictures because of those rules. Now, yes, this is all from the perspective of using these apps for hookups instead of chat, but the overall feeling is stifling.

    On the other hand, if you look at Adam4Adam, they avoided compromise and censorship by building a web app ("radar") that you access through the phone's browser. They can set their own rules and not need to police their members. I'd think they deserve more praise then Grindr.

    Posted by: CmdrViel | Mar 7, 2011 10:29:28 PM

  11. What a bullshit advertisement for Grindr masked as a post

    Posted by: Jerry | Mar 7, 2011 10:55:37 PM

  12. Wait... was this post edited to be more supportive of Grindr? If so, that is some serious bullshit.

    Posted by: Ben | Mar 8, 2011 12:15:49 AM

  13. When is Andy Towle returning? Belonsky injects too much of his personality into the posts and the quality of the site is noticeable slipping.

    Posted by: Tyler | Mar 8, 2011 12:48:58 AM

  14. correction: "noticeably"

    Posted by: Tyler | Mar 8, 2011 12:51:11 AM

  15. Look elsewhere Nexus S users. It's only compatible with Android 2.1 and 2.2.

    Posted by: Chris | Mar 8, 2011 1:45:18 AM

  16. Depending on your area, Grindr isn't just for hook-ups. I've chatted with some wonderful people and made some good friends. It's really a fun app.

    Posted by: Matthew | Mar 8, 2011 1:47:30 AM

  17. True, Ryan....

    You can only do That once!


    Posted by: Bruce Wayne | Mar 8, 2011 2:34:18 AM

  18. Grindr enforces Apple's rules even more zealously than Apple.... They deleted profiles for showing less above the waist flesh than the ones in their advertising material. Total hypocrisy.

    The sad thing also is that Apple's rules of not allowing adult web content to be viewed by any iOS apps except Safari means that those rules spread to Android, Blackberry and other platforms so that an Android user's nipple can't be seen on an iPhone (oh of course unless it's a female nipple, because that's the way Apple's adult ban runs...).

    I agree with WillyAG that Scruff is the superior app in performance, features and the range of men on offer. Also by treating its users as adults there seems less up front nudity than Grindr inspires with its publicity-chasing parties.

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 8, 2011 3:25:47 AM

  19. Slow news day, huh?

    Posted by: John | Mar 8, 2011 5:31:26 AM

  20. Anything that started on Apple platforms is going to be restricted. Im trying Grindr on Android now and to be honest its very lame. Android already has better versions and in the UK we have Gaydar which is a lot lot better and always worked fine with the browser anyway (it now has an app to).

    Frankly Grindr will be uninstalled in a day or to, its just rubbish.

    Posted by: rovex | Mar 8, 2011 7:20:58 AM

  21. It's not the censorship of pictures that gets me - go figure, I'd prefer seeing someone's face. It's the BATTERY ISSUE.

    I downloaded Grindr for my HTC Hero yesterday, turned it on for two minutes to see that it works. Initially, I was in Jakarta with everyone 500-3,000 miles away, but that corrected itself within a few minutes. Then I signed out.

    Two hours later, my "battery low" beep started. The program, while appearing to be off and "signing in" when re-opening, had never shut down. It blasted my battery down in record time. It turns out you have to go into settings on your phone and perform a "force stop" on the program to turn it off.

    Posted by: Sean Mac | Mar 8, 2011 9:32:33 AM

  22. there are literally hundreds of comments already in the android market saying that this app is a wreck. only shows 10 guys, coarse location is constantly wrong, profiles don't transfer from ipod touch to android, force closes immediately on launch. I've never understood the love affair that companies have with the iphone; there's even an iphone-only *bed bug* app from a mattress protector company that I saw advertised on the NYC subway. yes, it's about time grindr figured out that there are a lot of android users who want this app, but grindr then released a horribly under-tested piece of crapware.

    (and by the way, the story on here should have focused on the controversy surrounding grindr and the apple store's policies, and the comments in the android marketplace about this new version of the software; I'm with commenter Jerry on this one.)

    Posted by: steven | Mar 8, 2011 9:53:50 AM

  23. I can't believe there are all these comments and not ONE about how as the gay community publicly fights for "equality" the biggest app used by gays is a hook up app so you have quick hookups even easier than every other easy way gays find to hook up.

    Wow, equality indeed. Maybe when the gay community starts to focus less on hooking up, gay orgy cruises with drug dealers on board and things like that and instead making role models out of gays that own businesses, are successful leaders and strive to be productive members of society we would deserve equality.

    Right now, it's pathetic.

    Posted by: Charlie | Mar 8, 2011 10:23:55 AM

  24. It's not just for hooking up. Plenty of people meet friends on there, get dates and even find love like anyo ther site. Why are people so close-minded about how you can use grindr. Ive even talked to my neighbors about neighborhood things lol.

    Posted by: Drew Murray | Mar 8, 2011 1:04:18 PM

  25. Hey Charlie...

    Why don't you live your life how you want and left others live theirs as they want?? Just because someone uses Grindr doesn't mean their life revolves around hooking up and going on "orgy" cruises.

    Grindr is one of the most mixed-use social apps on the market. You can use it to hook-up or you can use it to socialize. It's entirely up to you.

    And frankly, so what if people like to hook-up? Humans are sexual creatures and sex is an enjoyable experience. Who are you or anyone to judge engaging in a perfectly natural experience?

    You are free to live your life in the sexual closet. But that doesn't mean everyone else should be expected to keep you company in there.

    Posted by: PatrickPATRICK | Mar 8, 2011 1:05:28 PM

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