New Dating App Winkd Aims To Be A Go-To For The LGBTQ Community

  • Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 10:45 am
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There are more dating apps on the market than you could possibly count, with new ones popping up seemingly every week. Though they cover a diverse - and sometimes outright strange - range of people and interests, the vast majority are made with heterosexual couples in mind.

Winkd is a dating app based in Sydney which just launched this month. It hopes to take a different approach and join the likes of Grindr as a successful service built by putting the LGBTQ community first.

Founders Diana Kalkoul and Neda Robat-Meily, who are both queer, found themselves frustrated with the lack of inclusivity in most popular dating apps. But rather than giving up dating apps altogether, they decided to create their own.

Gay Dating App Hornet Raises $8 Million In Series A Funding

  • Monday, January 16 2017 @ 07:16 am
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Hornet Dating Service

Hornet, a dating app that touts itself as “the world’s second largest gay social network,” has announced that it has raised $8 million in its first round of institutional financing. The Series A round adds to a $500,000 angel round raised in 2012.

Founded in San Francisco in 2011, Hornet set out to strengthen the gay community by providing quality social interactions and being the most inclusive, diverse service in the LGBT dating market. CEO Christof Wittig has previously said the company aims to “jump in where Grindr dropped the ball” by focusing on lasting connections rather than quick flings.

Security Remains a Big Issue for Dating App Users

  • Saturday, January 07 2017 @ 11:56 am
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Dating App Security

Dating apps have provided a great way for people to connect, but along with the positives, the downside to dating apps still looms large - users aren't necessarily safe when they are meeting new people.

Dating app users can become easy targets for sexually predatory behavior. The question of security in online dating has once again entered the news headlines, thanks to the conviction of Stephen Port, a UK man who was accused and found guilty of killing four men he met through gay dating apps.

Port met his victims by catfishing them through various dating apps including Grindr, posting fake profiles and avoiding using any real details about himself, encouraging them to meet in person before drugging their drinks. 

Judge Rules ChristianMingle Must Now Include LGBT Singles

  • Monday, August 08 2016 @ 07:44 am
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As Pride Month ends in America, there’s big news for the country’s LGBT singles. Faith-based dating site must now allow users to look for same-sex matches following the settlement of a class-action lawsuit in California.

The site, which bills itself as the largest online community for Christian singles, currently requires new users to select one of two options when creating an account: man seeking woman or woman seeking man. That is now set to change, following a three-year fight for equal rights.

Two gay men filed class action claims against ChristianMingle’s parent company, Spark Networks, in 2013. The suit alleged that the dating site excluded same-sex users, thereby violating the Unruh Civil Rights Act, California’s anti-discrimination law.

The State of California's website states: "Under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, all persons are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments, including both private and public entities. The Unruh Civil Rights Act protects all persons against arbitrary and unreasonable discrimination by a business establishment."

Spark Networks agreed to the judge-approved settlement on June 27. Under the settlement, Spark Networks will only require users to identify themselves as a man or woman. The company also agreed to add new options for gay and lesbian users within two years. The settlement applies to as well as its sister sites,, and

During the two years, “Spark will ensure that the ‘man seeking woman’ and ‘woman seeking man’ options on the gateway/home pages of the Mingle sites ask only whether the user is a ‘man’ or a ‘woman,’” reads the judgment. Spark Networks must not change the match prompts to “man seeking woman” at any time in the future, unless it also “provides similar prompts which allow individuals seeking a same sex match to enter and use the sites without having to state that they are seeking a match with someone of the opposite sex.”

Additionally, the judge ordered Spark Networks to pay $9,000 to each of the plaintiffs who brought the suit, as well as covering the full $450,000 in attorneys fees incurred by the two men.

Vineet Dubey, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, expressed gratitude for the case’s resolution. “I am gratified that we were able to work with Spark to help ensure that people can fully participate in all the diverse market places that make our country so special, regardless of their sexual orientation,” he said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Spark Networks told The Wall Street Journal that the company was “pleased to resolve this litigation.”

Chinese Gay Dating App Is Twice As Big As Grindr And Looking To Expand

  • Friday, July 15 2016 @ 07:27 am
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Blued Gay Dating Service

To coincide with LGBT Pride Month in the United States, China’s most popular gay social networking app announced last month a major milestone. Blued, founded in 2012, has completed its latest rounds of investor financing and now has a value of $300 million.

Blued claimed more than 27 million registered users globally as a February 2016, with overseas users accounting for more than 20 percent of the total. Not only does that make it China’s biggest gay dating app and bigger than Grindr, it also makes Blued one of the top social networking apps on the App Store.

Geng Le, CEO of Blued, said the company has seen significant revenue growth, particularly in the first half of 2016 when it started to make a profit. The app primarily makes money from advertising and live streaming, where audiences can tune into live-streaming video broadcasts and send virtual gifts to the broadcasters.

"With the funding, we plan to speed up our international expansion, and localize our products overseas,” Geng said. “We will promote the marketing and branding, and set up more offices overseas. We also plan to hire more competitive staff, and we will pay them a considerable salary."

Blued currently operates offices abroad in the United States and Thailand. The app has been translated into nine languages and its users hail from more than 190 countries and regions.

What has made Blued so explosively popular? As one of the earliest Chinese-language, geo-dating apps for gay singles in the region, Blued got an early foothold in the market. And given that China’s population is 1.3 billion - 1.7 million of which are estimated to fall on the LGBT spectrum - that market is potentially enormous.

“The gay business is a piece of virgin territory in China, and we hope to become a leader of this lucrative market,” Geng Le told China Daily this week. “The substantial spending ability of gays and the funding support we got indicate the strong power of the so-called pink economy.”

For comparison, consider Grindr. As the world’s other best-known gay dating app, Grindr was valued at $155 million earlier this year when it sought its most recent investment in China. Grindr has more than two million daily active users, according to a factsheet from June 2015. Blued has over three million.

The numbers bode well for Blued, which is preparing to shift its strategy in light of the good news. Last November, Geng Le said that Blued was aiming for a stock market flotation within five years. China Daily reports that the company now hopes to achieve it within the next one to two years, though the location of the listing is not yet known.

Tinder Plans to roll out Options for Transgender Users

  • Monday, July 04 2016 @ 08:12 am
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Tinder has been at the forefront of online dating industry growth, making it more accessible to more users than any other online dating platform. So it’s only natural that its accessibility extends to daters in the transgender community.

Transgender online daters don’t have many options when they go online to try and date, because most apps, including Tinder, only allow them to identify as male or female. In the next couple of months, Tinder has said they will be adding more gender identification choices along with more dating preferences.

Tinder is owned by Match Group, but it’s late to the party: other online dating platforms within Match Group, such as OkCupid, have already added more gender preferences to their platforms. In addition to “woman” and “man,” OkCupid’s gender options include “agender, adrogynous, bigender, cis man, cis woman, genderfluid, genderqueer, hijra, intersex, non-binary, other, pangender, transfeminine, transgender, transmasculine, transsexual, trans man, trans woman,” and “two-spirit,” as of November 2014.

Members of the LGBTQ community have pushed for this change in online dating, as they have felt excluded and left out of the conversation as more features are added and improvements made to the online dating experience – except when it comes to their needs and preferences.

Huffington Post Live’s Alex Berg reported deleting her online dating account, writing: “In the grand scheme of problems for LGBTQ people, the options of a dating website might seem like minutia ... [but] that recognition has the power to change the hearts and minds of those who would deny our rights in the physical world.”

It seems Tinder Founder and CEO Sean Rad agrees. “For a long time we haven’t done enough to give [transgender members] a good experience,” he said at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. “It’s harder for them to get what they are looking for. We have to modify our experience to address that.”

Tinder is working on the changes with transgender activist Andrea James and GLAAD, as part of its promise to be more inclusive to its community of daters.

“One challenge we face at Tinder is making sure our tens of millions of users around the world have the same user experience. No matter who you are, no matter what you’re looking for, you should get quality matches through the Tinder experience,” the company said to Fortune Magazine. “There’s an important transgender (and gender nonconforming) community on Tinder who haven’t had that experience … yet.”

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