It was over a year ago that Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai announced he’d be launching a version of his homo hook-up app aimed at breeder boys and girls. In a special podcast this morning at 10am CST, the company will officially roll out Project Amicus (please let that be a working name), a location-based social app open to straight men and women, as well as gays, lesbians and others along the LGBT continuum.
Here’s some verbiage from the company’s press release:
“Users love our existing location-based mobile experience, and we recognize the demand for a mainstream app,” says Joel Simkhai, who is leading the project. “We’re thrilled to continue harnessing the power of location to deliver a compelling new global platform that fundamentally changes and improves the way we meet new people.”
“Location-based services have transformed the way we see and interact with the world around us, but they have had less impact on how we make new relationships,” adds Scott Lewallen, the project’s creative vision. “With Project Amicus our goal is to develop that next step, making it simple and convenient to meet.”
Project Amicus promises a fresh spin on the location-based social phenomenon, and will be packaged with an optimized interface that catalyzes human interaction. Users can expect a unique mobile app experience unlike anything currently on the market that caters to how women and men communicate together.”
Since its debut just two years ago, Grindr has garnered 2.6 million users worldwide and revolutionized how gay men connect socially and sexually. Some have blamed it for the failing health of the bar scene. (It certainly did a number on Puerto Rican politician Roberto Arango’s career.) But while we could see straight men being into an app that helps them pull a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, how’s it going to fly with the ladies?
Simkhai tells The Daily Beast’s Etay Hod that the straight version isn’t so much a dating site as a way to make connections. “Facebook does a great job keeping you connected with people you already know,” he says, “but how do you meet new people? How do you make new friendships?” The Grindr impresario also says members will be able to control the accuracy of their location, offering an added level of security to ladies worried about getting stalked by sleazebags.
Okay, but they still have to do something about that name. Amicus? It sounds like something you file in a civil case or a priest performs during Mass—neither of which are conducive to hooking up. If the idea is a softer, gentler version of Grindr, how about “Rubbr?” We’ll expect our check in the mail.