One of the defining apps in the dating world and for the LGBTQ+ community is Grindr. Founded by Joel Simkhai back in 2009, the service has introduced millions of people around the world.
"It was pretty much the number one app in every country other than China. It's number one everywhere and used by everyone. It's a powerhouse. Everyone has a Grindr story," Simkhai tells Out.
Although Simkhai left the company in 2018, he's still told plenty of diverse stories from people who have experimented with Grindr.
"I'm always fascinated by the stories of people running into someone from high school or their childhood. Reconnection stories are always interesting. Stories about people meeting their husbands or partners. We got emails from people who met their husbands and then they had kids! There's humans in this world because of Grindr in some ways."
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Now, the CEO is introducing a brand new LGBTQ+ dating app called Motto. The service steers away from the anonymous profiles mainly seen on Grindr.
"I still use the apps and they still kind of suck. They don't really work all that well. There's a lot of problems with them. I wanted to build an app that you didn't have to waste hours looking, scrolling, and refreshing. You go on Grindr and some pretty high percentage of profiles are blank [with] no photos. With Motto, we require three face photos. When you sign up, you have to take a selfie and we compare that selfie to your photos."
Instead of scrolling through a grid of faceless accounts, Motto is geared toward a more personal approach with plenty of information needed when setting up an account.
"The idea is we want a more authentic experience. That's what I think is missing. It's very similar to Hinge, but we've sexualized it. You can put in your kinks. We don't tolerate any kind of racism, transphobia, or any hatred at all. 15, 10 years ago... the community was a little bit more anonymous, but I don't think it's too much to ask to upload three recent photos of yourself and fill out some information on your profile. With Motto, I had an opportunity to start fresh."
Motto has launched in NYC and is continuing to roll out throughout the United States. To see the full interview with Joel Simkhai, check out the video below.