Looks like owner of SCRUFF is in the middle of a full-court press. After bringing its in-app game show out of Beta, Perry Street Software has announced this week that it has purchased the app Jack’d, a SCRUFF competitor, for an undisclosed sum. The move makes Perry Street the “largest fully LGBTQ owned and operated software company” — and one that specifically serves the community at that.
“For years, we have admired the diverse and global community of Jack’d,” Eric Silverberg, CEO of Perry Street Software said in a press release. The newly purchased app markets itself as the most diverse of dating and hook-up apps targeted at the LGBTQ+ community, boasting more than 5 million users, 50 percent of whom are in Asia. “This acquisition will provide Jackd’d members with the same combination of technology and active moderation we have developed at SCRUFF, so that the Jack’d community members will be protected against harassment, spam bots, scammers, and risks while traveling.”
With more than 15 million global users, SCRUFF has prided itself as one of the last remaining apps built and run by and for the LGBTQ+ community as others like Grindr and Growlr have been bought by larger companies. The app sees this as going hand in hand with the particular care that the owners take with the private information of users.
The acquisition comes at an opportune time for Jack’d, which recently agreed to pay $240,000 for leaving users' private photos exposed through a bug in the app for at least a year, after becoming aware of the problem. Parent company OnlineBuddies will still be responsible for paying that sum to the state of New York while Perry Street will take on the task of establishing and mainting security standards for users moving forward.
The change will certainly cause Jack'd users, many of whom are men of color, to have a different experience with the app, since many have complained about Jack'd outdated interface and app instability. In addition, a release touts "improved messaging, redesigned Match, richer search and the ability to include video as part of member private album or in chat." Many of these features will likely resemble what SCRUFF already offers but the two apps will remain separate.
With these features will probably come other changes, though. Jack'd has long had some of the most lax photo guidelines for dating apps. A representative for Perry Street has confirmed that these guidelines will be updated to reflect SCRUFF's guidelines, which were changed in January to reflect Google's guidelines for apps in its app store. Those guidelines currently ban jockstraps, underwear, and bikini-style apparel in profile photos.