Archer, New Dating App for Gay and Bi Guys, Launches
Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 3 MIN.
Move over, Grindr, Scruff, and all the others: There's a new dating app for gay, bi, and queer guys from Match Group, and it promises "a new way to meet, date, and celebrate the community." Meet Archer.
The "social-first dating app" was announced in a June 1 press release that advised, "The dating experience for this community has evolved from a place of anonymity to celebration and pride, and Archer was developed to reflect that progress by prioritizing community, self-expression, and user safety."
Fast Company reported that the "social-first" aspect is in response to user demand.
"We know that Gen Z daters are content creators, they're digital natives," said Director of Brand Marketing Michael Kaye, "and we wanted to create a space that blended a traditional social app with a traditional dating app and create one platform where queer men can have or find casual fun, find romantic relationships, but also build to their communities,"
Touted in the press release as "the first major innovation in the space in nearly a decade," Archer offers a slate of innovative features, including "Profile Photo Verification," which is "designed to mitigate abuse and fraud, so that users are more authentically represented and verified via their profile photo," and "Community Building Tools," which include the option for users to follow each other and "also express themselves through pre-set tags, making it easier to find users with similar interests and allowing them to set filters for what they're seeking."
The app also boasts "Enhanced AI and Human Moderation," to ensure that "that all profiles are content-rich and high-quality" while offering safety around sharing pics – such as "smart-blurring photos that may contain nudity to help give users agency to control when or if they see the photo."
Moreover, the app's interface offers "a customizable experience featuring three different profile-viewing options," including a linear feed, a 15-profile grid, "or a zoomed-out grid for viewing dozens of profiles at once.
"The interactive layout caters to a new generation of daters, allowing users to choose their own dating adventure – whether that's a friend, hookup, date, relationship, or just someone to chat with," the release noted.
Chief Product Officer Marcus Lofthouse underscored the app's development with members of the community itself, saying in the release that "Archer's innovation – combining the connection-seeking of dating with the self-expression of social media – has created a new type of experience for this community to interact and connect with one another."
Fast Company relayed that Archer will be "initially launching in the New York City area" and "will be available on iOS and Android in June.
"Match plans to expand the app to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., in the coming months and nationwide by the end of the year," FC added.
"The offering will be free through the end of the year. The company will introduce subscription offerings and à la carte options starting next year. Everything that's free to users this year will stay free, even after monetization efforts are introduced."
With an eye to health as well as safety and sociability, the new app also features "an in-app health hub, a digital center designed to provide access to medical and mental health resources," the release detailed.
"This will include information on counseling centers, STD/STI testing areas, PrEP (prescribed medication to help prevent HIV infection) and PEP (medication taken after potential exposure to HIV) information, and more to create a psychologically safer and sex-positive environment."
Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.