5 gay hookup apps you didn’t know existed

When it comes to hookup apps, two platforms dominate the market for fag humen: Grindr and Scruff. Launched in 2009, Grindr rapidly became the most successful app in the world for men seeking connection with other menwith more than 10 million users worldwide. Meanwhile, the Scruff app boasts 8 million members.( Full revealing: I am one of those users .)

But while these are the most popular options, “they il be” far from the only apps out there. You might not have heard of platforms like Hornet or Jackd yet, but as the app marketplace continues to grow, dont be surprised if you insure the guy next to you on the train updating his DaddyHunt account.

1) VGL

Created by Josh Liptzin and Andrew Vurlumis, VGL made the already mobbed app marketplace in 2013. What defines it apart from the rest? Its the hookup worlds answer to Hot or Not: The app allows users to rank one another with a Drink, Fave, or Hot. The highest-ranked profiles are sorted into the Hottest category, which allows you to weed out all those pesky Threes and Sixes in your geographic area. The only problem is that to actually click on their profiles and talk to these alleged hotties, you have to pay for the premium version. Free users have to go fishing in members of the general pool.

The bigger aggravation is the interface itself, which is poorly designed and has a route of obstructing users profile images. When you click on anyones individual profile, their informationincluding their age, locating, and ethnicityappear on top of the main photo, means that the picture is obliterated. In order to view their entire face( or bod ), you have to tap the screen and wiggle the image up and down. With the VIP version costing you $9.99 a month, its something of a pricey game.

2) Upsurge

If youve been on Tinder, youre already very well known Surge. The app allows you to view users profiles, and if youre interested in messaging them, you swipe right. Otherwise, to the left. If you end up having a mutual attraction with someone, as Surge sets it, that user will appear in your matches list to allow you crazy kids to chat and get to know each other.

Because it so closely resembles Tinder, the graceful interface is intuitive and easy-to-operate, and Surge has get great reviews on the iTunes store. The chief benefit of the platform is that it filters out unwanted messages from guys you arent interested in, get rid of the headache of dealing with jerks and creepings. But one thing puzzles me about the app: Given the fact that Tinder is already is accessible to same-sex hookups, what does Surge offer that other apps dont? Due to Tinders enormous popularity( it feels like everyone is on it ), youre going to be looking at a much smaller pond of guys on an imitator app, even a very good one.

Side note: Major points for sharing a name with a 90 s soft drink.

3) Jackd

Jackd is a more affordable alternative to Grindr and Scruffwith premium rates as low as $2.08 a month. But you know the old saying when it comes to saving money: Are you get what youre( not) paying for?

Lets start with the very best: I like that Jackd( which markets itself to gay black humen) is predominantly populated by people of color, as apps like Grindr have notorious issues when it comes to racial inclusion among their users( commentaries like no Asians or its merely a predilection are common ). While the design is passable, what I miss is the ability to signal your interest to users you like without messaging them first. On Scruff, the Woof option is similar to a Facebook Poke: It allows you to get someones attention. It can be depressing to expend your time devising the chillest version of Hey, whats up? merely to have no one answer back, and the Woof cuts out that overt rejection.

But the real drawback about the app is that its a memory hog on your smartphone. The most common grievance, by far, about Jackd in the iTunes store is that it takes up route too much space( some claim even up to 2Gs ). Others maintain that the new version freezes regularly.

4) DaddyHunt

Unsurprisingly, there are few actual daddies on DaddyHunt. The app is primarily populated by guys who are likewise seeking older humen, but if you can get over that, the platform does a lot of things very right.

My favorite thing about DaddyHunt is that the browserin which photos of men in your area are stacked like tiles on a chessboardallows merely three profiles per line. That entails each image is larger and easier to consider without clicking on the photo first. Scruffs standard is four photos per line, and you might find that a guy who looks cute in a teeny, tiny photo isnt when you see that image blown up. Whereas Grindr is populated by headless torsos, DaddyHunt is amazingly face pic-centric, which dedicates the community a warmer, friendlier vibe.

That feeling is built into the interface itself, which allows users to not only Poke one another but send up to six different Shout Outs, which include handsome, burning hot, dateable, funny, inspiring, and great smile. In addition, the FotoFeed allows users to upload photos of themselves into an Instagram-style RSS that offers a unique route to browse photos of guys you might be interested in.

Aside from the mismarketing, my major grievance is something that any startup app is going to be dealing with: numbers. Given that DaddyHunt has a much smaller userbase than Grindr and Scruff, it means your options are severely limited: Just setting my age filters to between 25 and 40 left me with merely 100 guys in a six-mile radius.( In contrast, you can connect with more than 1,000 Scruff users in the same distance .) Because the free version doesnt allow you to filter by geography, interests, or body type, you really have to update to the Premium version to get to attain DaddyHunts platform work for you.

5) Hornet

According to Hornets CEO and co-founder, Sean Howell, the platform stresses conversation and community among its users. People don’t merely use us for dating, Howell told the Huffington Post. They’re using us for business networking, to get a job, to explore moving, to scheme their vacations.

If that sounds a bit like DaddyHunt, the two apps share a lot of the same upsidesand the designs are strikingly similar. The sleek browsers look nearly identical, absence many of the banner ads that bog down other free apps, but where Hornet bests DH is sum: Theres no restriction to how many profiles you are able to search, means that you are able to maintain scrolling all day and never reach the end of the feed. You actually get a lot of bangs for your buck with the free version of Hornet( although upgrading to the paid version does allow you to see which users visited your profile ).

Howell bills Hornet as less sleazy than other apps, but what distinguishes Hornet is its simplicity. It lacks many of the bells and whistles of other platformsthe swiping of Surge or the the ability to rate users like on VGLbut when it comes to gay hookup apps, less can be a lot more.

Illustration by Max Fleishman

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