Grindr’s recent launch of its online news site ‘Into’ signals a departure from being ‘just a hook up app’ into hard hitting news terrain.
Since launching in 2009, Grindr has quickly grown into the world’s largest social networking app for gay, bi, curious and queer men. Today, it has over 3 million daily users. That means that whether we (the collective gay community) like it or not – Grindr is a big part of our lives and of our community.
In March 2017, Grindr turned 8. To mark the occasion, it launched an online news site called ‘Into’.
Here’s how Grindr describes the site:
“Into serves as an eclectic collection of articles, videos, photography, and more that celebrate and represent the modern LGBTQ world. Acting as a digital window into the LGBTQ world, ‘Into’ mines Grindr user stories and real-time global accounts of life in other countries in a further effort to connect people to all aspects of their lives. ‘Into’ is all-inclusive, and open to everyone with a message or story that needs to be heard.”
It may be a lofty goal, and it may be a tricky business move to pivot from a social/hookup (that dreaded word again) app to a hard hitting news site, but Grindr seems committed to it.
They’ve taken a big step towards really cementing their commitment to establishing ‘Into’ as a reputable and trustworthy source of news and information through their just announced hire of Zach Stafford as the first Editor-In-Chief of ‘Into’.
Who is Zach Stafford?
Zach is an exceptionally talented journalist, writer and editor and comes with an impressive set of qualifications to meet the task at hand.
Zach joins the Grindr team from an 11-month post as Editor at Large of OUT Magazine. Prior to OUT, Stafford was a US columnist and reporter for the Guardian, focusing on LGBTQ issues, and was a contributor for various publications including Slate, Teen Vogue, and The Huffington Post.
Originally hailing from Tennessee, Stafford received his undergraduate degree in Women & Gender Studies from DePaul University. His portfolio includes articles ranging from civil rights abuses in the Chicago Police Department to the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.
Stafford was drawn to idea of working with Grindr, as it resonates with such a large portion of the LGBTQ community with over 3 million daily users. “People who are gay, queer, they use the app more than anything else,” Stafford said. “People come to Grindr to connect and engage on a deeper level with their community.”
While the website will continue to share dating advice and style tips, Zach has plans to put ‘Into’ on the map as a reputable news source for the LGBTQ community by covering hard-hitting political issues from the crisis in Chechyna to anti-gay laws in Rio De Janeiro.
The bottom line?
In my own personal opinion, anyone – or any brand – that is willing to put time, effort and importantly, money into online news and content created by and for our community – deserves our support.
I’m sure there are some people who may be cynical about this, and some people who will continue to view Grindr as ‘just a hookup app’. I guess you can’t change everyone’s minds.
But the fact the Grindr are not only doing this, knowing that some people will be sceptical and cynical, and are starting to assemble a quality team, at this early stage indicates that they are in fact serious about this.
This doesn’t reek of a marketing or PR stunt. This seems to be a genuine move into yes, expanding their own brand, but also providing another online outlet for the gay community to receive, share and engage with news that matters to us.
In the end, time will tell. And in the meantime, they’ve got my full support.