This week, Grindr launched Into, an online magazine that marks the app’s first step into digital publishing, Dazed reports. The content will be partly user-generated, according to Dazed, and will live alongside work by more established artists, like photographers Michael Bailey Gates and Ren Hang. The current homepage includes short posts about music videos, a guide to escaping a bad date, haircut ideas, and a video about living as a gay man in the 1980s.
As Dazed points out, this zine is just one more recent attempt by Grindr to prove its position as a lifestyle brand instead of just a “hookup app.” Earlier this month, the app launched its own emoji keyboard, and has previously dropped a menswear line.
I asked a friend, a frequent Grindr user, what he thought of this decision, and he said, “What they really need to do is stop spending money on zines and emoji and start spending money on the technical wonkfest that is the app.”
It’s a fair point; Grindr is glitchy and strangely designed, but because its users have few other options, it can get away with ignoring its flaws while prioritizing flashier endeavors. Still, CEO Joel Simkhai told Dazed that Grindr users were looking for “content... that has a global perspective, but is also personalized and local.” So, for now, that’s what they’re getting.