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Match Group’s ‘Archer’ App Wants to Offer Gay Men So Many Targets They Can’t Miss

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Match Group, the company that’s mostly known for gobbling up some of the most popular apps in the dating market, announced Thursday it’s now promoting its own app called Archer. Rather than another Tinder clone, Archer is specifically geared for gay, bisexual, and queer men. More than that, devs are hoping that users can more easily find love if they’re bombarded with images of dozens of local singles at a time.

Compared to the Tinder-esque Grindr, Archer is less focused on swipes and more on showing users a wider selection of users through two separate grid layouts in a linear feed selectable on the main app screen. One layout shows 15 profiles, while a zoomed-out view displays dozens at once in small headshots (perhaps trying to stray from Grindr’s notorious body-shots only motif).

The third layout is closer to OkCupid or Hinge’s layout, though it’s still picture-heavy with a small section for a bio, pre-set searchable tags (users should be able to eventually create their own custom tags), and dating expectations. Match Group claims it’s trying to be a “safe space” for users claiming it uses both AI and human moderation to verify user profiles. The app is also supposed to automatically blur images when it detects nudity to cut down on unnecessary flashing.

In a release, Marcus Lofthouse, the chief product officer at Archer who has previously worked on OKCupid, said “we’ve relied on feedback from the community to build the unique platform experience they’re looking for to empower men to be their full selves, and to genuinely, and more safely, connect with others.”

The app is ready for pre-registration on both Apple’s App Store and Play Store, though the initial launch is restricted to Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Archer should go live sometime later in June and should expand to more U.S. cities in the coming months.

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The eventual plan seems to be to turn Archer into one part dating app, and another part Instagram. Users will eventually be able to upload more than 20 pictures along with “ephemeral content-sharing options” along with group chats to organize—ahem—“communities.” Match Group said users can also “follow” profiles to get updates on those most-datable, though the company promised it would expand that feature in time.

The competition for gay-centric dating apps is limited. Grindr is the biggest boy on the block (some pun intended). Last year, the app was acquired by Tiga Acquisition Corp which then took the company public. Since then, the app has come under fire for selling users’ location data, a problem that has reportedly continued into 2023.

The conglomerate that is Match Group owns most of the world’s dating apps, including OkCupid, Hinge, Tinder, and more. One significant void in its roster has been LGBTQ-specific dating apps, despite the company acknowledging how many folks in that community rely on digital dating apps. The company has seen some small revenue declines in 2022, and it seems Match Group is trying to reinvent its image from being the down and dirty facilitators of weird Tinder dates. The company recently reconfigured Tinder’s guidelines to nix couples profiles and sex work. Tinder is also working on a super-exclusive, ultra-expensive $500 subscription service that’s supposed to gear directly to the semi-rich and semi-famous.

Source: Gizmodo

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