The makers of Grindr figured their app, which helps gay men find nearby gay men, using their iPhones to chat, swap photos, and meet-up, was so successful, they would extend the service to straight people, too. Today the world welcomes Blendr, Grindr for straights. The app targeted at gay men has over 2.6 million users in 192 countries, so an extension into the straight world seemed logical. And often that logic works. Gays can will trends into existence. Think: Bravo, hip urban neighborhoods, and some might even argue Lady Gaga. But sometimes, there are things the straight community will never latch on to, and efforts at extending a phenomenon fall flat. (Circuit parties, anyone?) It looks like Grindr might fall into the later category.
Grindr's popularity has a lot to do with the way people use it. Blendr has a different, and frankly, useless, purpose. Unlike Grindr, which Gawker's Adrian Chen explains "is a sex buffet--Yelp for penises," Blendr has a squarer mission: It facilitates friendships, app creator Simkhai Joel Shimkai explains to the Daily Beast's Itay Hod. "The straight version is not a dating site but a way to make connections. 'Facebook does a great job keeping you connected with people you already know,' says Simkhai, 'but how do you meet new people? How do you make new friendships?'" Nobody uses apps to make friends. As Simkhai admits, there are already online platforms for friend-making, like Facebook.