Intertech’s LGBTQ Dating App Panel Rounds Up

The LGBTQ technology network Intertech Diversity Forum has hosted a panel session on “The Future of Dating Apps” at Mozilla Festival 2018.

The discussion featured activist Norman Shaman, LGBTQ charity Stonewall’s Client Account Manager Sara Walsh, and Rob Curtis, CEO and Founder of Squad Social and former Managing Director at Gaydar.

Walsh considered what the experience of online dating is like for queer folk, calling Tinder a “wasteland”. She suggested that apps could do better by describing their products as being appropriate for “female presenting people” rather than for “women”.

Curtis noted that we may be 15 years away from industry standards for dating apps emerging. There are a range of product questions that need to be addressed by designers, from incentivising meaningful connections to avoiding an exclusionary focus on heterosexuality. Even just producing a streamlined experience can be difficult.

He said: “Apps which try to move away from physical attraction require you to fill out long forms which are very annoying and a bad experience.”

Shaman felt that LGBTQ can often represent gay white men to the exclusion of others, saying “Apps like Grindr are built by gay white men”.

GDI’s October Editorial gave an overview of sexual racism, exploring the ways in which companies like Grindr and Jack’d are trying to make their platforms more inclusive.

This was also one of the questions addressed by Curtis at the GDI London Conference; his session there covered LGBTQ apps and mental health.

Visit the Intertech website here.