The companies are activating their networks for political action, too.
Earlier this year, Grindr users might remember seeing in-app notifications about targeted violence against gay men in Chechnya.
With open events and publications, these companies get to put their brands on a wider variety of gay connections.
And, in doing so, the likes of Grindr, Hornet, and Scruff are re-creating queer sociability in significant ways.
Especially for people who might be deeply closeted or marooned in bigoted communities, these services offer keys for investigating what may initially seem like errant feelings of homosexuality.
In many respects, this isn’t too different from the late 1990s, when online chatrooms cracked open a universe for curious queers that had previously been mired in mystery.
The company also participated in a University of California, Los Angeles, study that showed using the app to push banner ads and notifications for free HIV home test kits was an effective way to reach high-risk populations.
They’re helping, in other words, make the connections so many queers have been yearning for all along.The gay social-networking app Hornet, too, has been hosting live events.Just this month, it put together a group of LGBTQ media gurus in New York for Loud & Proud, a sold-out panel discussion that centered around the importance of inclusion in a diversifying media world. Lots of queer men power up their gay app of choice when they go out or arrive in a new city in hopes of finding people who might be navigating similar life experiences.These apps, on the one hand, still allow queer men the messiness of exploring our identities.We can cruise furtively through rows of profiles, eking out a string of flirty chats or just going for some unembellished, anonymous sex.