You may think Grindr is the most popular gay dating app. But although Grindr has about 10 million users worldwide, you’d be wrong.
Although Grindr is arguably the most well-known gay hookup app, it’s not the most popular. That title belongs to Blued, a Chinese-language gay dating app with over 15 million users. Launched by former Chinese cop Ma Baoli in 2012, Blued was spun from Danlan.org, a gay discussion site for Chinese men.Since then, Blued has raised $30 million in private investment from Silicon Valley, is looking to raise upwards of $100 million more, and has grown to 40 employees, including software engineers, designers and salespeople. About 3 million people sign on to Blued every day, compared to the 2 million who use Grindr daily.Founder Ma says that Chinese officials have become more accepting of LGBT people ever since Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008. Blued has partnered with the Chinese Center of Disease Control to send targeted messages about AIDS prevention and with Internet giant Alibaba to send same-sex couples to California on an all-expenses-paid destination wedding and honeymoon. Gay marriage is still illegal in China.
“I believe China will continue to improve,” Ma Baoli told The Wall Street Journal. “In 2006, 2007, our website was still frequently shut down. But now the government will ask us, what else does Blued need that we can provide? There’s been a big change.”
Featured Photo: Polari