Joel Simkhai, the creator of the gay hookup app “Grindr,” has released a new twist on his software: “Blendr,” which allows people to meet nearby friends based on common interests and hobbies. The Grindr guru explains that he created the application for his mother.
The Telegraph reports:
Joel Simkhai, a softly spoken American, launched Blendr this week “to help people make friends based on their mutual interests.”
Whereas Grindr allows customers to scout for potential homosexual liaisons based on their location, Mr Simkhai says Blendr is intended to help users of any sexual orientation to forge friendships with people who share their interests or hobbies, such as knitting.
“’Friendship’ is not a euphemism,” he said. “We are matching people based on their interests. We’ll help you find people who have that specialist interest in your vicinity, whether it’s hiking, or knitting, so you can do that activity together. Alternatively it may be about practicing a language or looking for friends in your ethnic group,” he said.
With its associations to Grindr, it is likely to get hijacked by users looking for dates, if not sex, but that is not the intention, Mr Simkhai said.
“I want my mum to use this, and my cousins. If we end up being just a niche dating site, that’s great – life isn’t over – but our aspiration is really much more broad.
“Most of the relationships we have [in life] are platonic. I really want to help married women, married men, all sorts of people [forge those]. This goes beyond sexual orientation, sex or gender.”
By launching an app for a much larger demographic, Mr Simkhai also aims to drive explosive growth. Grindr currently has around 2m users, around half of whom are in London, and is on track for around 10m within the next three to five years. Mr Simkhai expects Blendr to hit 90m users by the same point.
What do you think—does this app have the potential to be a hit?