Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO of gay dating app Grindr, launched the app in 2009, making him one of the original online dating gurus. Since Grindr launched, similar apps like Tinder and even 3ndr have followed suit with location-based matches.
Needless to say, Simkhai knows what it takes to have a great profile and stand out on the app. “Be honest, post a recent photo and create an interesting profile,” he says. “It’s essentially like an ad. You’re advertising yourself, so think about it that way.” Simkhai shared his favorite Grindr tips with us on putting your best face forward.
1. Pick a great photo: This might seem like a no-brainer, but as Simkhai points out, “You want to show yourself in a good light and you’re competing against a lot of users,” he explains. “People’s attention span is really short.” Though guys on straight dating apps will tell you to steer clear of shirtless photos, Simkhai gives his blessing for bare torsos. “If you want to show that off, then absolutely,” he says. “Want to add your face to a shirtless photo? Even better.”
2. Create a catchy display name: Simkhai points out that other users’ first impression depends on your photo and username. “Make your username something that’s interesting – it could be your name or something you’re looking for or something you like to do,” he says. “That’s a piece of real estate that is very valuable.”
3. Add users to your favorites list: Maybe you’re chatting with a guy who lives on the other side of town, but who knows? You might end up at the same bar one day and see sparks fly. “Favorites will allow you to see them regardless of where they are, so if someone’s your favorite and they’re nearby, you can just meet them even if there was no plan to meet up,” says Simkhai. “I’ve often met someone I’m talking to on Grindr just because we’re at the same bar or right next to each other.” It’s also a great way to see if your friends and acquaintances are around: Simkhai says on trips out of town, he has made impromptu plans with friends after seeing them on Grindr.
4. Use filters: Users who subscribe to Grindr Xtra, the premium version of the app, can use filters to narrow their matches by height, weight, body type and ethnicity. “You can easily filter by the type of guy you’re looking for and only see them – and that’s a huge time-saver,” explains Simkhai.
5. Use “saved phrases”: Ever find yourself saying the same things over and over again? Maybe these phrases are “how is your day going?” or maybe they run along the lines of “hot bod” – either way, in Grindr Xtra, you can save these phrases so you don’t have to type them each time. “In your chat, you can swipe to the left and you can access those saved phrases,” says Simkhai. It might be impersonal, but it’s undoubtedly efficient.
6. Connect your Instagram account to Grindr: Grindr allows you to add Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but the cool thing about Instagram is that it allows other users to see more photos of you and your interests. “Even if you don’t have an Instagram, create one with several photos you can use just for Grindr,” advises Simkhai. That is valuable advice, since Grindr profiles only accommodate one photo.
7. Fill out all of the fields: Simkhai says it’s important to fill out your height, weight, ethnicity and other fields on Grindr. This will allow users who filter people on the app to find you. “If you don’t fill them out, you won’t come up in the search results,” says Simkhai.
Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark