What are the best dating apps for gay folks?

As Valentine’s Day approaches, dating apps and websites are stepping up their advertisement game in hopes of adding more singles to their digital dating pools.

Even the gay dating/hook-up app Scruff, which currently boasts seven million users, doled out major dough for a billboard ad outside University of Phoenix Stadium ahead of Super Bowl XLIX. The slogan: “Play On Our Team” situated next to two men sizing each other up in a locker room.

Such apps as Scruff, Grindr, Tinder, and the new lesbian-centric Scissr are geared toward matching users with potential mates, but aside from providing a veritable source of hookups, do many actual relationships come out of them?

Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash

“A lot of my friends have had more positive experiences with [apps] than I have,” said local Grindr, Scruff and OkCupid user Greg Breeden, adding that he believes the difference between dating and hook-up apps is defined by users themselves. “You can go out on a great date with Grindr, like I did in the past, or it can be a hookup. Depends on [the user’s] intention.

Similarly, Arizona State University student Alejandro Ramirez said the lines between dating and hook-up apps are blurring.

“I feel that the line between the two has really blurred,” he said, adding that he often bases his decision on how the app identifies itself. “I prefer to use dating apps because they allows for more conversation to happen. With Grindr and the like, messages tend to be really brief. It's either ‘are we hooking up or not?’”

OkCupid (okcupid.com) is a free friendship, dating and social network service that landed in Time magazine’s top dating websites for 2007. While the site offers basic free features, such as messaging and viewing unlimited profiles, users can pay to use features that “spotlight” your profile in order to gain more views.

Plenty of Fish (POF.com), Badoo and Mamba are among other free dating sites that follow this similar structure.

Conversely, such sites as match.com, Zoosk and Compatible Partners, eHarmony’s LGBT-specific site, are limited models that require subscriptions and payments for users to use all features, like sending and receiving messages.

Dating/hookup apps, including Grindr, Scruff, Growlr, feature similar components, in addition to GPS roaming so users can see what new singles are out and about in the cities and places they visit. Although mobile apps are notably different from their website-based counterparts, they function similarly.

So, are dating apps that are sometimes rife with immature users and dozens of faceless, torso centric profiles, subscription gimmicks, and the like really worth your time?

Ultimately, as Breeden said, it’s the user that defines the experience. However, with the countless apps and digital sites available at your fingertips, it’s hard to choose just one. The act of choosing the right platform can be just as tricky as selecting a date.

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Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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