Grindr is reportedly blocked in the People’s Republic of China, but gay guys are still meeting on their smartphones: Blued, a dating app aimed at gay men, has hit two million subscribers in its first year.
Launched by DanLan in April 2012, Blued has the usual chat and photo-sharing features but also allows users to share content from Chinese-language social media. A reported 24% of Blued members are daily visitors, while 68.3% log in monthly, either via iPhone or Android. Its creators say it’s more attuned to conversation and meeting up for a date, than sex.
But isn’t that what every dating app says?
Blued isn’t a moneymaker yet, but DanLan has garnered $3 million in investments so far. The owners hope to begin designing a female version, called Pinked, soon.
While homosexuality is legal in China, societal and familiar pressure mean a majority of China’s estimated 25 million gay men are married to women.
Then again, Blued isn’t exactly along in the gay-matchmaking world of Chinese apps: There’s OK Cupid-esque Xunta, Hornet (actually from Hong Kong) and Zank, which also claims to value communication and shared interests. Zank launched this summer, attracting more than 20,000 users in its first three days.