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Grindr's Gone Straight - Get Ready For Blendr

Could a new dating app like Blendr help you find “The One?” Could a new dating app like Blendr help you find “The One?”

If this is the first time you are hearing about the new mobile dating app that could greatly improve your hook-ups, um, I mean prospects, don't feel bad. Blendr has gone through many incarnations before it made its way into the booth at the Emmy gift lounge. And there is a very legitimate reason for that - to make the app more female friendly, for your dating pleasure. Gentleman I give you Blendr!

Blendr began life as Grindr, the brainchild of Joel Simkai. Essentially, it’s a mobile app that uses GPS technology to discover "people of interest" nearby. As the name may suggest, Grindr was wildly popular amongst the gay dating scene, a safer version of "cruising.” Facebook can keep you connected, but Grindr helps you meet people. It also addressed one of the biggest flaws of social networking - it required users to get out (no pun intended) and about.

I, for one, would at least like to try an app that puts the fun back into meeting men again, eliminating the annoying online scheduling or the grisly option that is the anonymous bar scene.

It's certainly worked well. Since its release in 2009, the app has attracted over 2.6 million users in nearly 200 countries, and boasts up to 8000 new members daily. Simkai immediately saw the potential for the app to be as perfect for straight men as it was for the gay brethren.

Imagine a virtual grid of female profiles, with similar backgrounds and interests, who weren't just in your zip code - but were actually at your local bar? You would have the ability to browse or chat with someone nearby, equipped with a plethora of ice-breakers right there in your phone. It would certainly take the pressure off, if you knew that you both shared a great love (and extensive knowledge) of all things hydroponic, for example.

So last month, Simkai launched Project Amicus, which according to the blog was being adapted for “everyone, whether youʼre female, male, straight, gay, lesbian or bi.” However, he realized quickly that the majority of straight women might be reluctant to be cyber stalked... sorry, to make new friends. And without them, no straight man would have any interest.

Understanding that women don't necessarily want to post their exact coordinates to anyone who can access their profile on an iPhone, Simkai adapted the app once again. He adjusted several privacy features so new users could control the accuracy of their location, who can view them, whether to send (or receive) a quick message, or simply update their status via Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare. With new safety measures to attract the ladies, came a new name that would hopefully do the same.

Sounding less like a secret government science agency and more like a singles mixer, Blendr was born. Meeting face to face also quickly lessens the chances that either party will try to trick the other, with the cunning use of a Getty stock image. As Simkai points out "they could be 50 feet away or across the bar and you can meet." Blendr just makes it easier to take that first step.

It remains to be seen how many straight women will go for Blendr, but it's at least a refreshing alternative to PlentyOfFish.com or OKCupid.com. For now, the app is supported by advertising alone, so it remains free for download. I, for one, would at least like to try an app that puts the fun back into meeting men again, eliminating the annoying online scheduling or the grisly option that is the anonymous bar scene. Who knows? This time next year we might all be "blending."

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The Blendr app might be useful, but could it be better than video dating?
Last modified on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:49

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