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The gay dating app SCRUFF hopes to shift focus from hookups to relationships with new feature

Log on to one of the many gay dating apps available for a smartphone and you’ll see an ocean of torsos, biceps, and sometimes other body parts (i.e. maybe a penis). It’s no surprise that these apps have developed a reputation for being pretty much just for sex. This Valentine’s Day, one of these apps is looking to change that.

SCRUFF, one of the most popular gay dating apps on the market is launching a new feature called “SCRUFF Match” which will match men who are looking for relationships with other like minded men on the app.

“We did a survey of our members late last year and found that two thirds of them used SCRUFF for dates or for chat” SCRUFF CEO and Co-founder Eric Silverberg, said over the phone. “We've been hearing from our members who are really looking for dates or relationships that they wanted an easier way to do it.”

SCRUFF Match is the app’s solution for these users. With the new feature, users will be able to go through a series of cards featuring men who both have a clear face pic and have specifically stated they are looking for dates or a relationship.

“The most important feature, frankly of any service in the dating world is the guys that are there. Whether they're geo location based apps, they're websites, or they're personal adds, ultimately the [main] feature is the guys.” Silverberg explained. “What makes SCRUFF Match in particular different is we are essentially creating a space for gay guys who are specifically interested in dates and relationships and we're saying this is a space for you.”

This space that Silverberg and SCRUFF’s team are creating is certainly unique among gay dating apps. For although apps and services do provide the option of filtering out men who are looking for a relationship, they hardly feel as specific as what SCRUFF intends SCRUFF Match to be.

And for those men who may feel disillusioned by gay dating apps? Silverberg is confident that SCRUFF Match is different. “I think SCRUFF Match, by creating a space for guys specifically who are looking for dates or relationships is going to provide a different enough experience that hopefully will be able to reach a lot of those people who maybe weren't as attracted to or didn't find the kind of community they were looking for on apps as they have existed to this day.”

Matt Lee is a Web producer for Metro New York. He writes about almost everything and anything. Talk to him (or yell at him) on twitter so he doesn’t feel lonely@mattlee2669.

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