Online dating company Match Group has unveiled Archer, a "social-first" dating platform for gay, bi, and queer guys, which has the largest proportion of the worldwide dating industry.
It won't be until later this month when Archer officially launches on the App Store.
It debuts in New York in June, and the rest of the United States will follow in the next few months with launches in LA and Washington, DC.
While Match Group, which owns everything from OkCupid and Tinder to BLK and Plenty of Fish, waited thus long to launch a gay-specific app to its huge portfolio, Archer does offer a few variations.
Unlike gay hookup apps like Grindr, Scruff, and others of a similar nature, Archer tries to integrate dating app essentials (messaging, the grid, etc.) with conventional social networking elements intended to promote deeper "self expression."
At launch, it includes interest tags, but Archer has plans to add an ephemeral Stories feature and the option to follow other users in the near future — all features you'd expect in something like Instagram, but perhaps not in a dating app.
“We know that what somebody is looking for on a dating app really evolves every hour, every day, every week,” Archer Director of Brand Marketing and Communications Michael Kaye said.
“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 a Sunday morning.
"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 users looking for love an in-depth view of one profile at a time.
"Generally, the app looks well-designed and flexible, aiming to meet the many different needs of a busy and diverse dating community.
“When we when we first were thinking about Archer, we recognized that 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 became it served every stage in your life.”
Another venture from corporate dating behemoth Match Group is Archer, and that pedigree comes with an attitude that is at least somewhat less NSFW.
Users of Archer will need to provide a profile photo that shows their face rather than a sea of torsos.
The creator of Grindr, who also dislikes the sea of headless males, released his own face-first follow-up app, Motto, in late 2017.
Every user's profile photo, including their face, would be validated when they join up for Archer, most likely using the same method as Match Group applications like Tinder.
In order to protect users, Archer will also utilise AI in its chat function to automatically obscure any possible nudity, hiding unwanted dickpictures for users who might not be collecting them right now.
Despite the lack of torsos and relative lack of dicks, Archer is betting that its comparatively (and literally) buttoned-up approach will reach a larger audience than gay men have generally come to anticipate from hookup apps.
Despite this, private picture albums, which may show up to six shots at once, are still a viable option for sharing sexy torso and other types of images.
Users can simply give or withdraw access to these albums using the app at any time.
These choices may be criticised by opponents of yet another Big Dating app as sanitising the homosexual dating scene.
Depending on what you're searching for, that critique may be valid, but Archer does seem to have been created with gay, bi, and queer men's particular needs in mind.
Andto its credit, Archer doesn't have the ongoing ownership issues that Grindr has, even though Match Group has made its own privacy mistakes.
More than 1,000 guys from the group it seeks to serve were surveyed, interviewed, and used to evaluate the product—something you'd naturally assume a chic new gay dating app aiming to win over a marginalised population would do.
“There are a lot of men within the community that will turn to dating actually moving to a new city,” Kaye said.
“I know so many people who are in monogamous relationships, but have downloaded gay dating apps when moving to New York for the first time to find their chosen family in the area.
"So we figured why not create a platform that makes that really easy for you.”
Despite servicing a specialised segment of the dating industry, Archer is nevertheless making an effort to appeal to a wide range of demographics.
This strategy may be successful in the long run, especially given that its parent business completely dominates the online dating market.
In a single app, Archer is wagering that homosexual men would want to meet up, find love, form communities, and connect over common interests.
They may be correct, especially if you're sick of the headless torso dating scenario.
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