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If you are not a gay man, or don't have a friend who is a gay man who openly discusses his sex life, you might not have heard of Grindr, the phone app that presents fellow users in order of physical distance and allows you to chat with them, send them pictures, and eventually meet up for casual sex. (Some people say they only use Grindr to make friends. These people are liars.) I myself have it on my phone¹, probably because it feels less weird than Craigslist's casual-encounters section², and I've often shown it off to my straight friends. Every single one has the same two reactions: one, it's too bad there's no straight version of that, and two, a straight version would never work.
Well, now we have a chance to find out if they were all right, because the people behind Grindr have just released Blendr, the heterosexual version with an infinitely unsexier name. Here's a quick rundown of all the things you can do with the app:
People can send quick messages to one another through the application, and they can use it to post status messages on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, if they choose. The application also offers a check-in feature so that users can broadcast their location to others using the app when they are at a concert or coffee shop.
But the application also incorporates several privacy features so that users can decide who sees them and when. The application doesn’t show an exact location, just a rough estimate of how far away a user is — such as 25 or 300 feet. In addition, the app offers several ways to control who can see your profile. For example, 25-year-old women using the app who decide they want to meet only 25-year-old men can adjust their settings appropriately so their profile is only visible to that group.
I have no idea if Grindr can do these things, however, because I don't pretend I have the app on my phone to facilitate Twitter updating or connect with other jai alai enthusiasts or whatever. Help me out, straight readers: do you think this can become a big hit?
¹Once I saw a family member on there. It was an unfortunate moment.
²I bet it's just as serial killer-y, though.