Grindr Shutters Digital Magazine 'INTO' After 17 Months

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INTO Magazine

INTO, the online LGBTQ publication owned and operated by Grindr, is no more. The company ended the digital magazine’s 14-month run by terminating its editorial staff on January 15 and announcing a pivot to video.

Grindr launched INTO in August 2017. The website featured news articles, op-eds, lifestyle content and advice columns for a modern LGBTQ audience. The launch was part of a larger effort to reframe Grindr as a lifestyle brand, not “just” a dating app, but the outlet’s journalism was praised and went on to win awards from The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.

In a statement shared with NBC News, a Grindr spokesperson called the decision to dismiss INTO's staff a "strategic shift in focus."

“As with any growing business, we have to continually evaluate what is best for Grindr. After a thoughtful and collaborative process, Grindr’s leadership decided to modify INTO’s content mix to rely more heavily on video," the spokesperson said via email. "With this strategic shift in focus, several INTO employees will be leaving the company. This was a difficult decision and one that we do not take lightly. We want to thank these colleagues for all of their contributions to Grindr and our community.”

News of INTO’s closure comes shortly after the site published a viral exposé claiming Grindr’s president, Scott Chen, opposed marriage equality. Landon Rafe Zumwalt, Grindr’s head of communications, resigned days later. Into's former editor-in-chief, Zach Stafford, also exited his role with publication to become editor-in-chief for The Advocate. Many are speculating that the Chen scandal and staffing shake-up are, at least partially, behind the shuttering INTO.

Readers, media professionals and LGBTQ advocacy groups have taken to social media to share their dismay at Grindr’s decision to pull the plug. Several INTO employes also weighed in on the decision, releasing a statement of their own.

“The team at Into was saddened to learn this morning that as of Jan. 15, we will no longer be with Grindr,” the joint statement said. “The company will be refocusing its efforts on video and as such, the editorial and social teams were let go this morning. We feel that Into’s closure is a tremendous loss for LGBTQ media, journalism, and the world."

The statement went on to highlight a selection of INTO’s most impressive achievements, including awards, citations in notable publications like the New York Times, and influence in the realms of politics and entertainment.

“We aimed to give a voice to those who need one now more than ever, a platform for them to see themselves represented wholly,” the statement continued. “In that time, we built one of the largest LGBTQ platforms in history—using the power of social media to reach queer audiences around the globe…. In doing so, we further proved what queer people have shown for decades: there is an audience, a desire, and a hunger for LGBTQ stories told by LGBTQ people.”

For more on this dating service you can read our Grindr app review. While the staff has been let go, the online magazine is still accessible here.