Match Group introduces Archer, a new gay dating app for men

Image credits: Archer

Online dating giant Match Group is introducing a new gay dating app, just in time for Pride. The company, which holds the lion’s share of the global dating market, is launching Archer, a social-first dating experience for gay, bisexual and queer men.

Archer doesn’t actually hit the App Store just yet which will happen a little later this month. The film opens in New York in June, with Los Angeles and DC in the coming months and a full rollout in the rest of the US later this year.

While it’s surprising that Match Group, which owns everything from OkCupid and Tinder to BLK and Plenty of Fish, took so long to add a gay-specific app to its massive portfolio, Archer offers a few twists. Unlike gay hookup apps like Grindr, Scruff, and the like, Archer aims to combine the necessities of dating apps (messaging, the grid, etc.) with traditional social media features designed to foster deeper self-expression.

At launch, that includes interest tags, but Archer has near-term plans to add an ephemeral Stories feature and the ability to follow other users — all things you’d expect in something like Instagram, but not necessarily in a dating app .

We know that what someone is looking for on a dating app truly evolves every hour, every day, every week, Archer director of brand marketing and communications, Michael Kaye, told TechCrunch. You might be looking for something on a Friday or Saturday night that is very different than what you might be looking for on a Tuesday afternoon or Sunday morning.

Image credits: Archer

To that end, the app also offers a few different views: a Grindr-style grid with two different zoom levels, and a linear layout that gives love-seekers deep insight into one profile at a time. In general, the app seems well-designed and flexible, aiming to cater to the diverse needs of a busy and diverse dating community.

When we first thought of Archer, we realized relationships are so fluid within this community, Kaye said. So they might be single one day, then in a monogamous relationship, and then you might open up your relationship. So we wanted to make sure that whatever this app was, it served every stage of your life.

Archer is yet another experience from corporate dating giant Match Group, and that pedigree comes bundled with at least a marginally inferior NSFW mentality. Instead of a sea of ​​torsos, Archer users will be required to display a profile photo that includes their face. (The Grindrs founder similarly resents the sea of ​​headless men, launching his follow-up app Motto late last year.) Archer uses selfie verification at signup and every profile picture of users, including their faces, will be verified, presumably through the same system used by Match Group apps like Tinder.

On the security front, Archer will also employ AI in its chat feature to automatically obfuscate potential nudity, masking unsolicited dick pics for users who may not be picking them up at the moment. The lack of torsos and relative scarcity of dicks certainly sets a different tone than gay men primarily expect on hookup apps, but Archer is betting his relatively (and literally) buttoned-down approach will cast a wider net. That said, you can still plan to share images of the smoking bust etc through private photo albums, which can display up to six photos at once, and users can grant that access and revoke it easily at any time through the app.

Detractors of another Big Dating app may criticize these decisions for sanitizing the gay dating experience. That criticism is probably fair depending on what you’re looking for, but Archer appears to be designed with the unique needs of gay, bisexual, and queer men in mind. (And to his credit, Archer misses the constant ownership concerns that plague Grindr, although Match Group is not without its privacy missteps.) This involved surveys, interviews and product tests with more than 1,000 men in the community, sta looking to serve something you surely hope an of course, a new gay dating app hoping to build goodwill with a marginalized community would be fine.

There are many men within the community who will turn to dating by actually moving to a new city, Kaye said. I know so many people who are in monogamous relationships, but downloaded gay dating apps when they first moved to NYC to find their chosen family in the area. So we thought why not build a platform that makes it really easy for you.

Archer may serve a specific cross-section of the dating world, but it’s still trying to be many different things to many different people, an approach that could pay off in the end, particularly in light of its parent company’s total dominance of online dating. scene. Archer is betting that gay men might want to hook up, find love, build community, and connect around shared interests in one one-stop shop of an app. And they might be right, particularly for anyone tired of the headless-torso dating scene.

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